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Code Name: Geronimo - Review

Codename: Geronimo

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

JOHN Stockwell’s Code Name: Geronimo may have won the race to become the first movie about the killing of Osama Bin Laden out of the blocks but it feels disjointed and rushed as a result.

Unfolding in the months prior to the assault by members of Seal Team Six, the film flits back and forth between the corridors of power in Washington and the preparations in Pakistan as observed by both the soldiers themselves and the Pakistani spies on the ground who formed an integral part of the successful operation.

Admittedly, the film does keep you gripped by virtue of its basis in reality but it’s still very much a flawed piece of work.

Attempts to put a human face on the soldiers at the forefront of the mission backfire badly, feeling both half-hearted and unnecessary, particularly as the classified nature of the real-life op means that all the characters depicted are fictional.

Hence, the likes of Cam Gigandet and Freddy Rodriguez barely register, while Robert Knepper’s Lieutenant Commander is a blatant attempt to include a direct and personal reference point to 9/11.

That said, Stockwell does deserve credit for not over-doing the jingoism, especially during and after the mission itself, which is conveyed in a suitably cold and efficient manner.

The scenes in Washington, on the other hand, provide some interesting footnotes on the politics involved (and benefit from William Fichtner’s presence). But it’s the scenes involving the two Pakistani agents on the ground that arguably carry the most interest and dramatic tension.

In America, Code Name: Geronimo aired on the National Geographic channel under the name Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden and, to be fair, it has a certain made-for-TV feel. Hence, a documentary style approach might have worked even better.

But as things stand it’s a curiosity piece that feels very much like the appetiser to Kathryn Bigelow’s incoming Zero Dark Thirty, which promises to offer a more definitive version of events.

It is worth noting, however, that the film’s end credits and the facts it delivers do provide plenty of food for thought and serve as a sobering footnote to events as a whole.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 90mins
UK Release Date: December 14, 2012