Movie review: Zero Dark Thirty not for everyone

Our reviewer Susan Steen says the new movie about the killing of Osama Bin Laden may not be everyone's cup of tea.

Zero Dark Thirty is a commonly used term by the military to refer to a non-specific time when it’s dark outside.

This was a disturbing show which originally was about the 10-year search for Osama Bin Laden but it had to be re-written when he was found and killed.

No Easy Day is the first-hand account of the attack and killing of Bin Laden, written by a U.S> Navy SEAL member.

In the book, CIA agent Maya (in this film played by Jessica Chastain) is known only as Jen.

There are tears at the beginning of the film and tears at the end.

In the middle, the film wrestles with a lack of character development while trying hard not to be a docudrama.

In the years since the the Sept. 11, 2001  attacks on the world Trade Centre towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and the downing of an airliner in a field in Pennsylvania, most of us can’t recall the name of even one of the victims. But the world knows the name of Osama Bin Laden.

The single-minded search for Bin Laden was undertaken by the CIA, and particularly the dogged Maya, who did nothing else but seek the Al-Qaeda leader.

Other actors arepart of this three-hour film, including Jason Clarkm, Reda Kateb, Kyle Chandler and Jennifer Ehle, but none stand out to carry the show as Chastain.

This is a dark, explicit, violent show, based on real events. And while played well, one has to wonder why Hollywood, in the present environment of violence in Americ, would chose to tell this story now.

What purpose does it serve?

Sure, we know Bin Laden was a terrorist but this “in your face” realistic account only confirms that the big fist of the U.S. might not be universally embraced.

The show will be a winner for some folks and for others, threee hours of disturbing realism.

So, if you choose not to see it, here are some little known facts to ponder.

The raid on Bin Laden’s compound runs 25 minutes, which is only a few minutes less than real-life SEAL assault.

The stealth helicopters were modified Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks with anti-radar cloaking, like the F-117 fighter plane.

U.S. President Barack Obama put an end to prisoner torture early in his first-term in offcie.

The hunt, and eventual death, of Bin Laden ended in Pakistan in 2011.

The first weekend box office take for Zero Dark Thirty, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, was 24.4 million.

Not my cup of tea, but it will be remembered.

 

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