Starring Mark Strong, Jamie Bell, Abbie Cornish,
Not only was the terrorist attack in London on April 30th 1980 similar to the events portrayed in the Oscar winning film Argo, but 6 Days presents itself very similarly. Director Toa Fraser lands his first film with major stars, his previous work on film and in television has failed to propel him to the forefront. 6 Days won’t do that either, despite an unfamiliar story to American viewers, the writing, acting and direction here doesn’t elevate this historical suspense stand off to any must see list. 5’7’’ Jamie Bell is touted at the lead character here, not only is the Fantastic Four star miscast, but he’s also not the central figure in the plot. Another miscast is Australian actress Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch) as a BBC journalist who built a career on the reporting seen here. Mark Strong (The Imitation Game) gives the pictures best performance.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was in power when a group of Arabs stormed the Iranian Embassy in London. They demanded 91 of their countrymen held prisoner in Iran by the Persian government be released. They claim to represent The Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Arabistan, and vow to kill one of the 25 hostages unless their demands are met. The Special Air Service (SAS) is called in, positioned directly next door to the Iranian embassy, and lay waiting to pounce the minute a gunshot is sounded. Kate (Cornish) with the BBC reports live outside the gates of the Embassy, details every moment of the six-day long stand-off. It’s Metro Police Negotiator Max (Strong) who must continue extending the patience of the terror group leader, allowing the special forces to create a plan which will minimize the casualties.
Strong, one of todays most underrated supporting actors, delivers the only meat to the story.
6 Days has situational suspense and drama but never digs into the real surface of exactly why these terrorists want what they want. The screenplay by visual effects guy turned writer Glenn Standring gives us a few lines explaining their logic, but that’s as far as we get. The character development is extremely weak, Rusty the lead SAS agent, never allow the miscast Bell much depth to play with. Rusty Firmin is also a technical advisor on the film. Standring’s script doesn’t match the wit of Argo, because it doesn’t have a hook like that story did. The events play out from days one to six, without much drama or impact.
Strong, one of todays most underrated supporting actors, delivers the only meat to the story. His characters audio conversations with the terrorist, provide the only real drama this picture has to offer. The film is situationally focused instead of tackling the more intimate experiences of the three characters perspectives. It’s silly to compare the films, but both 6 Days and Dunkirk treat their respective events as historical overviews, offering weak character perspectives instead of emotional details that will resonate with viewers. At least Dunkirk is a technical achievement, this film outside of being Argo-lite and shedding light on a historical event, doesn’t have much to offer.
A routine suspense drama that fails the viewer on character development.