It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie coming from Eastern Europe with decent production values. And I’m not talking about the crap-o-rama coming from Nu Image.
Tobruk is a solid war movie. I’m not using the term drama here because it’s next to non-existent. Some reviewers have attributed it to lack of action scenes. Not so.
Tons of TNT have apparently been used to recreate the battle of Tobruk. Yet, I couldn’t care less if anyone from the section (about 10 men) dies or lives.
Part of the reason is we don’t get a lot of background on them, e.g. protagonist Liebermann wants to open a bookstore when the war ends…
This kind of shallow characterization is one reason why the movie seems to go for hours, when in fact, it’s just a bit over the bare minimum (at 100 minutes). Maybe if you’re writing a thesis on squad-level tactics, you could put the movie in your footnote.
I’m not going to ruin the “suspense” by describing the last scene but it felt anti-climatic and cliché.
To sum up, the production values are what sets this movie apart. When you look at some of the desert cinematography, you feel this could be The English Patient or Lawrence of Arabia. Unfortunately, the similarities end there.