‘Balloon’: Film Review

On paper, the plight of a pair of families fleeing 1979’s East Germany in a hot air balloon sounds like fabricated fodder for a spy novel.

But as implausible as it sounds, this “The Mysterious Island”-esque grand escape from Deutschland’s then walled-in, oppressive slice really did happen.

And nearly four decades after being the subject of Disney’s “Night Crossing,” it is now a tale told in small-screen comedian Michael Bully Herbig’s “Balloon,” a competently made political thriller that sadly mines for suspense in all the wrong places.Still, “Balloon” is decent entertainment to a degree, and that is mostly thanks to its handsome production values.

The quaint environs and row houses of Thuringia as well as the era’s eye-popping costumes by Lisy Christl — well-tailored clothes and floral-heavy fabrics with traces of ’70s cool — are admittedly easy on the eyes.

But considering the film’s stretched

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