The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019)

The Red Sea Diving Resort is a 2019 Netflix film written and directed by Gideon Raff. It stars, among others Chris Evans, Ben Kingsley and Greg Kinnear, and is based on, or at least inspired by, a true story of how the Israeli navy and air force rescued from persecution and smuggled out thousands of Ethiopean jews in the 80s. The films title referes to the hotel the agents in charge used as a cover for the smuggling operation. 

I had trouble watching parts of this film. Although it was good enough when it came to acting and story, some of the one sided views on religion and culture, with the cliche of the “white saviour” and Israeli heroism, felt very ham handed at times. Of course, my own critical views on religion and the anachronism of dividing people into warring tribes depending on what brand of imaginary friend they have, just reinforced this feeling. 

Also, the utterly dehumanized portrayal of the bad guys in the film was almost laughable. There was much cigar smoking, mustache-twirling Bond-villainy to be had here.

But, the film, as a whole was entertaining and suspenseful, and even though some of the actors played the roles they always seem to play (Ben Kingsley as the Israeli intelligence officer and father figure for example), it was refreshing to see Chris Evans out of his Captain America costume (even though Captain America is my favorite Avengers… who’s yours?) 

So, The Red Sea Diving Resort was a nice and enjoyable enough, but somewhat forgettable. A kind of “poor man’s Argo”. But then again, Argo is a terrific film, so the comparison might be unfair.

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