More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “Day of the Falcon,” a battle between two Arab kingdoms over the rights to some valuable oil — not a sequel to the 1973 movie “The Day of the Dolphin,” in which George C. Scott inadvertently trains a dolphin to kill the President of the United States.
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong, Freida Pinto
Official Synopsis: “Starring Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong, Freida Pinto, and Tahar Rahim, ‘Day of the Falcon’ is a soaring epic of honor, greed, betrayal and love from award-winning director Jean-Jacques Annaud. After years of bloody conflict, the leaders of two rival kingdoms reluctantly agree to end the fighting. But when oil is discovered between their territories, the war is re-ignited. Now it is up to their children — young lovers who have married in hopes of bringing the families together — to find a way to end the violence and bring peace to the land.”
“There are instances when the narrative veers off course, but it always looks pleasant enough and the score, although it shoots for epic too often, is effective.”
“There’s a lot of golden-age Hollywood in this tale of the earliest days, in the 1930s, of the Arab oil kingdoms. Some of it is just plain fun: sweeping desert vistas and epically staged battles on horseback.”
“Feels like it could have been made in the 1950s; we have come to expect a little more from our blockbusters.”
“The clumsy script never really delivers epic drama. Great action scenes, though.”
“This Lean-lite epic fails to strike the good stuff from the get-go with undermining international casting and a leaden script.”
“Day of the Falcon” is now available on VOD.