It's easy to see why a story like this would appeal to Evans, particularly as he attempts to move into the post-Marvel phase of his career, and the rest of his covert crew, which includes Game of Thrones hunk Michiel Huisman, The Art of Self-Defense sensei Alessandro Nivola, and The Girl on the Train star Haley Bennett. You get to wear cool-looking clothes, hang out on a beach, partake in slick spycraft, and engage in mild moral hand-wringing about a complicated topic with obvious contemporary resonance. These are the type of movies A-list actors love to make and, if they strike the right chord with audiences, occasionally they win awards and earn positive reviews.
The problem with The Red Sea Diving Resort is that it doesn't feel particularly interested in the political intricacies of the situation, which went by the codename Operation Brothers, and it's definitely not interested in presenting the perspective of the Ethiopian refugees with any psychological subtlety. Besides Bimro, the refugees exist primarily as props for the script to raise the stakes for Evans's team or to be gunned down as a way of establishing the villainous bona fides of the Sudanese soldiers. One particularly stomach-churning sequence pings from a cheeky montage of the agents performing their hotel duties as Duran Duran's "Hungry Like a Wolf" plays in the background to a brutal execution scene. The tonal whiplash isn't intentionally provocative -- it's just careless.
The spy genre often requires a degree of cynicism: deals are made, innocents are betrayed, and crimes are covered up. In a nod to those conventions, Evans is occasionally presented as a conflicted, troubled man at the end of his rope. "I'm an asshole," he yells at one point towards the end of the film. "I take risks... sometimes it works, sometimes people get hurt." In brief moments, Evans evokes a grizzled, world-weary attitude, giving the role the type of Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, or George Clooney gravitas he's clearly shooting for. But the rest of the movie displays an unbecoming earnestness, a desire to flatten out nuance and clean up complexity, that undercuts these flashes of self-awareness. It's afraid to go deep.