Thought this was a pretty solid movie. Low and behold, it won the 2008 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film...as you know by now, my favorite category. Maybe that's how it ended up on my list but I'd forgotten and was pleasantly surprised. Watching it, I thought to be another low-profile but above average Holocaust movie...like Escape from Sobibor.
Pretty solid story though I think they tossed some of the drama with the opening scene. In a Holocaust movie, one should never really know if the protagonist makes it through. It's evident from the first scene that Markovics character does.
What that scene does not tell you is some other pretty neat stuff. All along, I'm wanting to scream at Burger for his goddamn principles. I, too, try to be a man of principle, sometimes to the point of fault. In the Holocaust, I thought he was unnecessarily endangering the lives of those around him - lives that would be ended if not for the project, and then all those offspring would never come to fruition, etc. By the end, however, Burger's heroism is apparent.
So you have some fine acting. Markovic in the lead role is great (ha, someone on imdb said it was Statham's greatest role). He gives no emotion and is just a man all about survival and using his skill to do it. The Burger character has a little more range since he wants to put it all on the line, but another fine choice in casting.
Finally, what kills me most is the fucking Nazis. I hate Nazis with a passion. Obviously, the evil aspect would do it for most, but how about the hypocrisy? When the Jew will do what it takes to survive, he is a coward or scum. When the table is turned, the Nazi always cowers like a baby. Goddamn Nazis.
So a good flick. There are good and bad Holocaust movies, high-profile and low. I thought this was low profile while watching and that almost made it better.