A Sundance audience favorite with Metro Manila (2013), Brit director Sean Ellis is back with his 4th feature. It stars Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) and Cilian Murphy
Anthropoid is based on the true story of WWII Czechoslovakian resistance Operation of the same name, an assassination attempt on SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich.
Filmed like routine-war-thriller-with-romance material, it goes into very familiar territory from your easy film making guide. The producers choose to go for fantasy work rather than historical accuracy. They should have at least stick to it, skip the uneasy unbelievable romance, go into action. It takes an hour to do so, spent on unnecessary subplot. This build up is weak and should have been skip to save more time for the plan, mission and its aftermath. At times they try to repair the anticlimax by using overdone and pompous music by Robin Foster. And if there was real issue to deal with (the massive retaliation by the Germans over the Czech population, the Historical issue) the screenwriters spent so much time on inert secondary plot that no time is left to go deep on serious matter.
Originality is certainly not the trade here. Metro Manila, while being no masterpiece, had a surprise effect due to the low budget and the filming in the Philippines.Anthropoid‘s increased production value provides for a final Hollywood uninspiring package deal we get every year by the dozen.
Anthropoid is a product that knows the rules of its making but lacks in spirit.