Steven Spielberg adopts the tropes and tone of John le Carré novels and Cold War thriller films and contorts them to fit a conflict with a wildly different power differential. As the film develops, the violence of the Israeli-sanctioned assassins expands in scope ultimately turning into a grotesque numbers game with Hans (Hanns Zischler) reeling off numbers of terrorist atrocities and deaths as if that can justify their state power’s campaign of ‘righteous’ revenge. The dialogue of violence becomes more and more one-sided and Spielberg doesn’t flinch from showing how broken, mad, and hollow that violence makes a person. The absence of Palestinian voices from the film is unfortunate but speaks to Spielberg’s understandable personal focus which is how Israel’s perpetual avenging violence drives a wedge between Jewish people and the nation they can no longer call ‘home’. The final shot of the World Trade Center dates the film as firmly early-’00s but emphasises the overall sense of despair at the prospect of peace.