Frankly, I thought the movie sucked. It had its few moments but overall it failed to deliver; a shame considerings its comical premise. Much too raunchy, slow & sappy; so sayeth the Goose.
It's major redeeming quality was the fact that the setting was absolutely gorgeous. There are some phenomenal shots of DC and Eastern Maryland. Christopher Walken's mansion (St. Michaels, MD) in the movie is absolutely incredible.
I highly enjoyed the intricacies of the covert world that the film presented. All the details of hidden bank accounts, planned assassination plots, and the like were intriguing to say the least. As far as the technical elements of the film are concerned, I thought it was outstanding. The score (John Williams), cinematography (lighting, camera angles, etc.), acting (awesome), and the interesting presentation of the timeline (interspersing the events of the Munich massacre throughout the film along with the assassinations) all came together to make a truly solid film. The details of each individual assassination is made clear to the audience while still managing to remain suspenseful. Additionally, the movie cleverly illustrates, through a scene of dialogue between Bana and a PLO terrorist, the cause of inspiration for the Palestinian separatist side of the issue in addition to that of the Israelis. Combing all of these elements, I feel Munich to be one of the better films of the year, and based on these criteria alone would not hesistate to give Munich a deserved 10/10. But where the technical means succeed the plot and time management disappoint.
Regarding the plot, there were simply too many cliche figures in the film. The team Bana leads has its token experts in the expected categories of subversion: the counterfeit documents man, the expert bomb-maker, the traditional gung-ho assassin, etc. Couple this with an independent covert source bearing an uncanny resemblance to Don Vito and you have seriously diminshed the originality of the film. It was as if each character was placed into a niche created by countless predecessing films.
Where the movie ultimately fails is its time management. Put simply, the movie itself was simply too long. The last 40 or so minutes stray away from the film's heart (chronicling the actual killings) to become a repetition of philosophy that has been inserted thoughout the duration of the film. It would be one thing if the end succinctly tied it all together, but it didn't. What wanted to be said had been said; numerous times. We know that Bana's character wrestles with his conscience and his perception of his mission as futile. We see how his work affects his personal life. It is disappointing in that these elements could have been condensed into a cinematically poignant finish.
The over-emphasis on philosophical questions as opposed to answers is sorely disappointing. By answering the question "do you find punishment a valid response to terrorist actions?", you have staked out your position on the matter; Munich does nothing to cast light on the issue. The failure to examine questions pertaining to the use of force, retribution, and deterrence reduce the power of what could have been a truly dynamite film. In short, the movie needed to go deeper than just Bana's suffering.
In the end, Munich was an enjoyable film with a highly pertinent subject matter. But due to certain plot issues and poor time management, it fails to live up to the Schindler-esque masterpieces the director is capable of. A good film that could have been great.
I saw Brad Pitt in his best role (as a raving lunatic), but overall the movie was too bizarre and took way too much mental capacity to process. Having just viewed it, I feel like I have just come out of a final exam.