(Canada/US - 2019)
Written and directed by Gideon Raff. Cast: Chris Evans, Haley Bennett, Alessandro Nivola, Ben Kingsley, Greg Kinnear, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michiel Huisman, Alex Hassell, Mark Ivanir, Chris Chalk, Danny Keogh, Yossi Vasa, Thabo Bopape, Anele Matoti, Stephen Mofokeng, Karl Thaning, Reabetswe Modega. (Unrated, 130 mins)
"Inspired by real events," the Netflix Original film THE RED SEA DIVING RESORT is a very generalized--all of the characters are fictitious--chronicle of Operation Brothers, a recently declassified Israeli plot to transport Ethiopian Jews to Jerusalem under the cover of an abandoned vacation resort in Sudan. The idea is concocted in 1979 by (fictional) Mossad agent Ari Levinson (Chris Evans), the kind of loose cannon who barges into the office of his boss Levin (Ben Kingsley, acting like an Israeli Frank McRae) and is read the riot act about his hot-dogging ways and how he needs to start playing by the rules. Levinson has been in contact with Kadebe (Michael Kenneth Williams), who's been tirelessly and mostly unsuccessfully working to smuggle refugees out of Ethiopia to the promised land of Israel. Levinson's plan: lease the Red Sea Diving Resort, a dilapidated and vacant seaside vacation spot, from the Sudanese government using an Israeli military shell company based in Zurich, smuggle the refugees into the resort and quickly move them out with help of the Israeli Navy, positioned a ways offshore. Levin and Mossad chief Barack Isaacs (Mark Ivanir) are initially against the idea but soon conclude that it's so crazy that it just might work. Levinson needs a team, so he puts together a crack unit of like-minded Mossad badasses, and to do that, it's gonna take a montage: Rachel Reiter (Haley Bennett), who's introduced with her own synth score like she just walked in from a Luc Besson movie; Jake Wolf (Michiel Huisman) and Max Rose (Alex Hassell), both pretty non-descript, with skills that aren't exactly clear; and Levinson's old friend Sammy Navon (Alessandro Nivola), a doctor in civilian life, and who bailed on him before over his impulsive, reckless decision-making.
"Just an Illusion" (remember that from the closing credits of the great F/X?) and, for some reason, Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf," which Nivola's character also plays on an acoustic guitar in a scene set in 1981, when the song wasn't even a hit until early 1983.