The Debt (2011)

Here’s a quick review for you, or – if you will – a math equation explaining what a mash-up this movie feels like.  Suicide Kings + Apt Pupil + Munich + Red = The Debt.  There, those are my knee-jerk instincts when it comes to describing this movie directed by John Madden.  Not THAT John Madden, nor the former New Jersey Devil.  No, this Madden directed Shakespeare in Love many moons ago, and when it comes to subject matter, The Debt deals with far heavier fare.

Basically, three Mossad agents go into East Berlin to extricate Nazi war criminal Dieter Vogel (Jesper Christensen), a man infamously known as The Surgeon of Birkenau.  Two of them, David (Sam Worthington) and Rachel (Jessica Chastain), pose as a married couple, with Rachel going to see Vogel for fertility treatments until they verify that yes, Vogel was the Surgeon.  They do this with the help of the third agent, Stefan (Martin Csokas).  The plan to remove Vogel back to Israel to stand trial for his war crimes goes awry, and then they end up holding Vogel captive for a time.

Damn, just typing that synopsis made me bored.  Stuff happens, and it is interspersed with present day events in regards to the Mossad agents, played in their olden years by Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciarán Hinds.  If you can piece together my earlier equation, you can probably figure out exactly what happens.  There’s some heavy drama, along with the Munich-esque secret agentry and in the end, it’s a decent movie, although not one that will keep everyone on the edge of their seats.  The main problem with the film is the time skips, along with poor casting physically for either the younger or the older cast.  Apparently, Worthington is going to look like Hinds when he gets old, which means that Channing Tatum has the same fate booked for him.

3.5 / 5


About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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