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If you want deep characterization, raw emotion, realism, and insight into the human condition... watch something else. If you want to see a master spy lead a commando team behind enemy lines to save D-Day by rescuing a general out of an impregnable Nazi mountain fortress... this is the film for you. I read through the list of goofs in the Amazon Prime X-Ray and thought, "Oh, who cares?" Most fifteen-year-old nitpickers will have given up by forty minutes in. This movie makes no pretense of realism, yet plays everything completely straight. This to me is the film's charm point: there's no smug little wink at the audience. The fate of the war effort hinges on this mission, and Burton's going in.
Mind you, what I described above isn't really the plot. The real plot of this film is even more insane, by an order of magnitude. Without spoilers, Where Eagles Dare can be described as a russian doll of intrigues and backstabbing, of dead bodies appearing and important conversations tantalizingly cut off, as our heroes jump from crisis to crisis and we lead up to the Grand Reveal Of Everything. A moment which kicks ass, like the rest of the film.
My only complaint is that once we're at the end of the ball of string, this movie has no more intrigues and pretty much "degenerates" into an exercise in stabbing, shooting, and exploding as many Nazis as possible. Testosterone Poisoning at it's finest, you could go that page and replace the Saxton Hale's Jungle Brawl image with one of Burton and his endless dynamite: "I BOMBED MY WAY OUT OF NAZI HELL! A GERMAN WILL DIE EVERY NINETY SECONDS!"
That aside, this is a entertaining, boomtastic action flick, Sixties-style, and a nice way to pass an evening. I liked it, four stars out of five.
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