28 October 2013 | Nozz
It's too good at concealing what's going on
Kidon starts with an intriguing premise: Suppose that the 2010 assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh (if you've forgotten it, check Wikipedia) took Israel's General Security Service, the Mossad, completely by surprise, but the assassination team has escaped to Israel and the Mossad is rounding them up and finding out how the hit was accomplished. The script has a problem handling this situation, though. The audience-- a well-informed audience, at least-- knows more or less how the hit was accomplished, so there's no suspense in the retelling. Nor is there any great adventure in capturing the assassination team; that seems to go relatively smoothly. So aside from a few offhand jokes about current events, there is nothing much to keep the audience interested for the first hour or so. There is an abundance of characters introduced-- too many to easily keep straight-- but although the actors are competent (and many, in Israel at least, are familiar and well liked) the characters are not well rounded enough to engage the audience. It's only after an hour's wait that plot twists begin to develop, giving new significance to what the audience has already seen. And from that point the plot twists never stop, progressively revealing what previously hadn't been apparent as we watched, but they can't turn the one-hour wait interesting in retrospect when it wasn't interesting at the time, and they don't involve us any more deeply in the characters.