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The Statement Review

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Nazi war criminal Pierre Brossard is sheltered from justice by the Catholic Church. Fifty years on, he is being pursued by both a crusading judge and an assassin organisation out to avenge his victims

★★★★★

Based on Brian Moore’s novel, The Statement concerns Nazi war criminal Pierre Brossard (Caine), sheltered from justice by the Catholic Church. Fifty years on, he is being pursued by both a crusading judge (a rapacious Swinton) and an assassin organisation out to avenge his victims.

Positioned as a tense political thriller, Jewison’s film is high on the (somewhat confusing) politics but falls a little short on the thrills. After a grippingly economic opener, Brossard (all murderous eyes and cowardly lips) remains too enigmatic to constantly engage, and too much time spent hinting at, but not sufficiently exploring, deeper conspiracies doesn’t help the slovenly pace.

Chances for genuine tension as his pursuers close in are too quickly thrown away as he makes yet another surprisingly effortless escape, while the matter of which group eventually collars him becomes less intriguing as Brossard’s tired legs stumble on.

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