Code Name: Geronimo (15)


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The Independent Culture

It looks like a spoiler for the other Get-Bin-Laden picture, Zero Dark Thirty, but Kathryn Bigelow will not be enduring sleepless nights on its account.

The film has more in common with the Pentagon-approved Act of Valour, in which a US Navy SEAL team is given the collective salute, this time for taking out The World's Most Wanted in a daring dead-of-night raid. Director John Stockwell (Blue Crush), according to the press notes, "revels in moral complexity", though you wouldn't know it from a script that comes ready-mined with crude America-the-Righteous messages.

The SEAL training is standard shaky-cam stuff – stalking, yelling, shooting – with some lame interpersonal issues thrown in. It's contrasted against the CIA backroom bods who trawl hours of surveillance footage looking for clues to their man's whereabouts. Once they focus on a humdrum compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the drama gathers in momentum, if not in subtlety.

The closing shots of President Obama announcing the mission's success in May 2011 will bring retrospective relief to many: if it had gone wrong the 2012 election might have been a different story.