When Spielberg is in serious mode, don’t expect to see flagrant WOO. I found this film particularly stark in that regard. Steven actually goes to the extent of introducing the DVD with his defense for taking fictional license to enhance historical events. So you know he’s not going to’ Oz it up’ on this one.
- That said, there are three quotes in the film that remind you “There’s no place like home”: “Home is everything.” “It costs dearly, but home always does.” Also, at the end, his old boss is trying to talk the hero into leaving America by reminding him he is Sabra, his wife is Sabra and their daughter is too. Their old ‘friend’ won’t break bread with them in New York. To be fulfilled, to find their true destiny, to be safe he advises them to, “Come home.”
- Bicycles make their appearance leaning against a wall when the assassins go after the Dutch ‘honey pot.’ Presumably they intend to employ them as means of escape, a gimmick Spielberg favors in many films.
- The trickster’s presence is more implied than highlighted. Israel’s goal is noble: to send a message to the world that terrorism against innocent victims will not be tolerated or go unavenged. The actual mission however is messy—morally and physically. Those who carry it out must sacrifice their own purity to see it through. See Lincoln, The Color Purple, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan for methods that don’t leave their perpetrators unscathed. On a lighter note, tricksters can also be found in Empire of the Sun, A.I., Always, Goonies, Jaws, Catch Me if You Can, The Goonies, Used Cars, Joe vs. the Volcano.