A very interesting idea here, and really swell execution. Zev (Christopher Plummer) and Max (Martin Landau, looking about 105 years old) are residents at an assisted living facility, what we used to call an old folks home. They were both inmates in the same barracks at Auschwitz, the only survivors. Martin has worked with Simon Weisenthal to identify fugitive Nazis, and thinks he has tracked down the Blockführer, the man responsible for murdering their families. He immigrated to the U.S. or Canada in the late ‘40s, under the pseudonym of Rudy Kurlander. Trouble is, there are four Rudy Kurlanders it could be. They need to find the right one, so they can kill him. (I heartily endorse their plan, by the way. I don’t think it should really be a crime to kill a Nazi.)
But an even bigger problem is that Max suffered a stroke and is in a wheelchair. Even worse, Zev is losing it. His short-term memory is more or less okay, but every morning he wakes up looking for his wife, who died a few weeks ago. He can’t remember much beyond a single day. But Max is resourceful. He writes detailed instructions in a letter, gives Zev a handful of cash, and calls ahead to reserve taxis and hotel rooms for him. Thus, Max begins his blundering journey across North America looking for a killer in hiding.
It is to be expected that the guilty Rudy will be found at the last of the four places, and that’s how it turns out, but the fascination is in seeing how Max gets there, and the reasons why it was not the other three. And at the end, I can pretty much guarantee that you will not imagine what is really going on here. It is one of the best surprise endings I have ever seen, and I think it plays fair with the viewer. It is devilishly elaborate, but possible, and Max has shown himself smart enough to have orchestrated it all. I won’t say more, but I really recommend this one.