- Don Ford
Don Reviews "Beirut"
For centuries, people have been fighting for certain lands and which group of people can call their own. In the Middle East, countless people have died fighting over major cities which have become war zones, even though they may have beautiful areas and incredible culture. It even seems like when peace is within reach, something happens to revitalize the conflict.
“Beirut” is the new film directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist, The Call). Featuring Jon Hamm (Million Dollar Arm, Baby Driver), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Jack Reacher), Mark Pellegrino (The Big Lebowski, Capote), Dean Norris (Get the Gringo, Total Recall), Shea Whigham (Non-Stop, Take Shelter), Larry Pine (Maid in Manhattan, The Royal Tenenbaums), Idir Chender (Carbone, Occidental), Jonny Coyne (Nightcrawler, Salem), & Douglas Hodge (Catastrophe, The Night Manager), it takes place starting in 1972 with successful diplomat Mason Skiles (Hamm), working to make business deals and expand the city’s international presence. During a big event for VIPs at his house, his wife is killed and his adopted son is taken by terrorists. Ten years later, Beirut is still a war zone, with Mason back in America working as an attorney who negotiates labor dispute and still wrestling with his demons. He is contacted by the government to help bring back his friend and former co-worker Cal (Pellegrino), still an active agent and taken hostage, after kidnappers specifically request Jon to negotiate the trade between America, Israel, and the PLO.
This film is very historically correct when it came to the props and scenery with the backdrop of Beirut as a beautiful area in the beginning of the film, and a war torn city as it moved forward. I truly liked how it showed whole neighborhoods in rubble from the earlier battles. When it comes to the acting, the two leads in Pike and Hamm do wonderful in their roles. There are a lot of supporting roles who do well with no one trying to outshine each other
Now when it comes to the plot and storyline, I am a little conflicted. At about an hour and forty-five minutes long, I thought it was just a little too long and started to drag just a bit, but I was still interested. There were points Hamm is negotiates with three governments at the same time and with their demands and dirty politics of our own country, it did get a bit confusing. Overall, I liked the film and I will still recommend it as a matinee or Saturday afternoon in the theaters.