6 Days: Kiwi-shot thriller receiving lukewarm reception from US critics video

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After debuting at the NZ International Film Festival, 6 Days opens in New Zealand cinemas on September 6.

A partly Kiwi-shot and financed thriller has opened to less-than-stellar reviews in the US.

Toa Fraser's 6 Days, which has been screening in this country as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival, has received a lukewarm reception from leading American critics ahead of its debut in cinemas there on Friday.

Starring Jamie Bell, Mark Strong and Abbie Cornish, it recounts the events surrounding the hostage situation at London's Iranian Embassy in 1980. 

Mark Strong plays hostage negotiator Max Vernon in 6 Days.

Mark Strong plays hostage negotiator Max Vernon in 6 Days.

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Writing for The New York Times, Ben Keningsberg thought the film, with its barrage of title-card identifications, felt "closer to a re-enactment than a thriller", while The Wrap's Robert Abele described it as  "limply following in the footsteps of MunichZero Dark Thirty and Argo". "It comes off all too often like a routine siege picture with a testosterone insecurity," Abele added, before pronouncing it "confused about whether it wants to be a ticking-bomb tale of heroics or a complex insider account".

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Rechstaffen was equally disappointed, describing the film as "duller than real-life". "It's an entirely workable schematic, but New Zealand director Toa Fraser never manages to link those elements with any sense of immediacy or take advantage of that built-in ticking clock to create much-needed momentum.

Jamie Bell plays SAS assault team leader Rusty Firmin in 6 Days.

Jamie Bell plays SAS assault team leader Rusty Firmin in 6 Days.

Variety's Guy Lodge was a little more positive, summing the film up as "technically adept, but dramatically muted". "6 Days establishes Fraser's credentials as a viable handler of mainstream genre fare, but comes as something of a disappointment after the livelier exploits of his rollicking Maori adventure The Dead Lands."

After its film festival screenings, 6 Days is scheduled to return to Kiwi cinemas on September 7.  

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