6 Days, the latest ‘original’ film from streaming giants Neflix, dramatizes the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege, in which armed gunmen stormed the building in Princes Gate, London and took all twenty-six people inside hostage.
Director Toa Fraser takes a very conventional approach with the film, which offers very little that has not been seen or done before. The five days of negotiation are almost entirely devoid of tension and mind-numbingly dull. As Police negotiator and leader of the terrorists respectively, Mark Strong and Emum Elliot do their best with the many telephone conversations between the two sides, but are let down by a very weak script.
When it finally arrives, the SAS rescue operation is immersive and well shot. However, the historical significance of the siege extinguishes much of the sequence’s suspense. As is frequently the problem with real-life thrillers, audience knowledge of the resolution defeats much of the purpose and excitement of the genre.
In a markedly strong performance, Mark Strong leaves a strong mark on the film. Similarly, as the leader of the SAS team, Jamie Bell proves himself as a competent leading man in a very different role to his usual fare. Unfortunately, Australian actress Abbie Cornish is hopelessly miscast as BBC journalist Kate Adie. Struggling with Adie’s accent and lacking screen time, Cornish is the weak link in an otherwise impressive cast.
Missing the continued tension of Munich or the panache of Argo, 6 Days is a painfully generic hostage thriller which doesn’t take advantage of its story’s dramatic potential. Despite the best efforts of its actors, this is one to miss – you may as well just continue the Stranger Things binge.