19 July 2008 | KnatLouie
Wartime? More like Boretime..
I've had the fortune to find this long-forgotten movie on a Danish VHS (which had an awesome cover-picture by the way, two soldiers with blazing machine guns on the front, explosions and tanks in the back).
Now, Umberto Lenzi is legendary among certain circles of movie-fanatics, but it is definitely not because of his war-movies like this one. Here's a short summary and break-down of WARTIME.
Year: 1940s. Place: Eastern Europe somewhere, presumably Yugoslavia. The Nazis have captured a Swedish scientist, whom they want to create weapons of mass-destruction for them, and then a group of local rebels will have to free him from the Nazis before they run out of time. To help them with this task, they have sought the aid of a couple of American pilots (enter: Peter Hooten as the hero, Steve Guttenberg lookalike).
They fight the Nazis, led by SS-man Dietrich, who gives his best Klaus Kinski-impersonation here, but is still helpless against the all-powerful American soldiers and local rebels. Nazis FAIL, good guys WIN. Big surprise.
Among the way, the following things occur: 1) The Nazis are surprised at a local brothel, where they were enjoying "Denmark's finest" hookers, while just one guy was guarding the door outside. Great fun. 2) A train is blown right off the tracks, actually looks very good, and I honestly think they blew a real train to smithereens, and not the usual miniature models, so kudos for that. 3) During shoot-outs, time after time we see that the Nazis apparent strategy is "two guys run out into a clearing, hoping to surprise the enemy", and both always gets shot down immediately, not even putting up any fight, just jumping forward, getting shot, and screaming while falling on their asses. 4) Peter Hooten looks so much like Steve Guttenberg, it's scary. I thought this might have been a prequel to "Police Academy", except that there weren't any cops. He also has this smug look on his face throughout, made me wanna punch him in the face, but I didn't wanna break my TV. 5) A local rebel girl looks gorgeous, and one of the Americans fall for her, big surprise...but the biggest surprise was the fact that she was married with the old, fat, rebel-leader with the curly mustache. 6) Our heroes dress up as priests (or rabbi's) to enter the Nazi stronghold.. and surprise-surprise, the Nazis fall for their pitiful disguises, even though their beards look like crap! Man, those Nazis sure were D-U-M-M. No wonder they lost the war.
So, all in all, not a completely terrible movie, but definitely not a good one either. For Umberto Lenzi-completists this will be great fun to watch, but for other people this might be too boring to sit all the way through. Kind of reminds me of "The Inglorious Bastards", but worse (both also starring the fantastic Peter Hooten for some reason - I wonder why he's not making movies anymore..seems his career died alongside Steve Guttenbergs - coincidence? I think not).
4/10, 1 for the cover alone, and the other 3 points were for the cool explosions and funny (but predictable) plot-twist near the end.