it's hard to find a war movie made back in the 70s and 60s about WW2 that isn't pretentious and overly serious. This one is actually fun(with its many faults and quite a few plot holes) and has a surprisingly good cast for such a movie as this- Harrison ford in one of his first lead roles(of course after Star Wars), Robert Shaw, Richard Kiel and Barbara Bach are all fun to watch in this. The fight choreography leaves ALOT to be desired, but thats what it makes it fun- its silly but it adds to the tone of the film, which is not serious in the least bit. Guy Hamilton(of James Bond FAME!), makes a decent war movie, less about the war and more about the episodic journey of the characters. I found all the characters interesting to watch, especially Carl Weathers as the odd man out of the bunch. It's a mix between action adventure and caper film, with humorous moments. You see hints of Han Solo in Ford's Bambsy character, and Shaw's Mallory is like the long lost brother of Roger Moore's Bond and Michael Palin's doppelganger. Richard Kiel REALLY hammed up the role of the villain in this, he was a cartoon as Capt. Drazak, and sometimes I had to roll my eyes- but what do you expect for an actor who's only been remembered as the strong and slow witted Jaws of the james bond franchise. Franco Nero was very interesting as the (spoiler) traitorous Ledifera, I think he captured whether we could trust him very well, and I had my suspicions very early one, even when the Partisan leader debunked the idea to Mallory. Barbara Bach was interesting in her role, as she turns out to be an undercover operative posing to work for the Nazi head guy, perfectly played by
The opening sequences of planes flyng were very badly executed, clearly they didn't have the same sfx wizards that Star Wars had, the year before. And apart from a few really underexposed night shots, the cinematography is pretty good(love the trekking shots through the mountains, supposedly Montenegro to represent the settings' Yugoslavia)
All in all a decent caper/thriller, where the good parts outweigh the few bad. I was surprised to see a nazi captain be decapitated and some boobs in a PG movie, but I'm not complaining. It's certainly not an amazing movie, but its a good romp with the best part of the movie being the stellar cast.