16 July 2003 | pjmuck
Entertaining but flawed WWII Hooey
Like most American war propaganda films, this film probably presented the perfect propaganda needed at the time to rally a nation, but viewing it today it manages to make the allied forces (and most specifically Americans) look like racist ignorant buffoons in the process. It makes no excuses for it's blatant propaganda messages and obvious opinions of the German or Japanese ("I can't tell you people apart", to quote one of Hall's lines), nor does it even attempt to understand their cultures (Hari Kari, for example, is grossly misunderstood and misrepresented in this film). But I won't argue the issue, because, after all, it's only a movie, and America needed their villians clearly cut and defined to swallow the bitter pill of war.
But honestly, how inept is our "hero" in this film? He's supposed to be on a serious mission to thwart an air raid on New York city (I consider that pretty serious), yet the minute he touches ground on German soil he takes great risks in exposing himself by opting to make his presence known by playing pranks rather than staying low and "out of sight". He frequently jeopardizes the success of the mission because he can't resist grabbing a chicken leg or a glass of wine while in the company of the Gestapo, or falling asleep in facial makeup. And while it makes for some entertaining scenes that utilize the invisible effects, his behavior is completely implausible and downright ridiculous. Think of how easy his mission would have been had he just quietly moved about and retrieved the info he needed without bringing attention to himself. (But that doesn't make for a very entertaining movie, now does it?).
If I were the Maria Sorenson character in this film, I would have kicked him in his unmentionables.