Hotel Mumbai (2019) **

Hotel Mumbai is a brutally intense terrorist thriller based on the true and tragic murders of 174 innocent people in 2008, and if that’s your cup of tea, then I think you’ll be entertained. Personally, I was just reminded of a disgusting act of violence in our sad worldly history, and the Hollywood-esque touches didn’t help numb the reality.

Terrorist movies are tricky post 9/11. I commended Paul Greengrass for making United 93 because it correctly and methodically portrayed “nobodies” fighting against the evil acts of terrorism. I “liked” Peter Berg’s Patriot’s Day because it captured the multi-perspective moment of an urgent reaction to a terrorist event.

Hotel Mumbai kind of just reads as an observation of terrorist brutality without origin or consequence. It certainly cares more about getting its cast out of the hotel than who is causing the violence in the first place and why. Because the movie doesn’t state it openly, I will: the bad guys are admitted Islamic terrorists. I know this because it’s in the news – CNN and FOX.

Whether it wanted to be anti-political, heroic, or entertaining, this kind of movie is just taboo these days. I’m not sure who the target audience is except people who want to see re-enactments of terrorism, and that’s why I liked and adored Dumbo instead.

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