Review: ZERO DARK THIRTY

By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 3.5 (out of 5 Reels)

Having recently seen Ben Affleck’s Argo, in a way, I expected another interesting and suspenseful film.  The only problem is that I knew the outcomes for both movies.  I am a regular watcher of CBS Sunday Morning and saw the story about the real life person, Tony Mendez, for which the film dramatized.  I usually don’t like knowing much about a film before I see it, but for some reason, I watched the entire story and subsequently knew the outcome.  With Zero Dark Thirty, knowing the left me to wonder how they (our government), after ten years, finally tracked Osama Bin Laden (OBL) down and killed him.

Maya (Jessica Chastain) play a CIA operative who arrives in Pakistan fresh out of college to help track down OBL.  She quickly witnesses the harsh measures that must be taken in order to track him down, not only to appease Washington, but avenge those who have perished.   There are two actors I was pleasantly surprised to see in this film – Jennifer Ehle as Jessica a CIA field agent, I haven’t seen her act in quite a while.  I grew to admire her acting abilities when I saw her portray Elizabeth Bennett in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice in 1995.  The other is John Barrowman as Jeremy who only has a bit part here, but I remember as the unforgettable Captain Jack Harkness in the Dr. Who series as well as Torchwood.

Although this film is well made and acted, I thought it was a bit long.  It is fascinating to discover how they finally found OBL and killed him.  At the beginning of the film it states that the film was made using eyewitness testimony of the events that occurred.  However, after I returned home from seeing the film I happened to watch David Letterman and guess who was his guest?  Director, Kathryn Bigelow who quickly explained that the film is based on eyewitness accounts but in the end is a film not a documentary which is very true.  Being ambivalent about this movie makes it hard to give it high praise.  It is a well made and acted film but I knew how it was going to end and therefore I didn’t have anything vested in it.

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