Film #16 in the World War II Marathon!
Written By: Carl Foreman
Directed By: Alexander Mackendrick & J. Lee Thompson
As an explosive action film The Guns Of Navarone manages to be a stout entry into that genre. The explosions are large, colorful and impressive. The action is streamlined, straight to the point and full of typical Hollywood good guy versus bad guy moments. All of the various action elements are handled nicely and have the Hollywood action flow to them that we have come to know and expect over the years. It may sound like a bad thing that The Guns Of Navarone sounds so formulaic, but in at least one area, large explosives and showdowns with the baddies The Guns Of Navarone does shine.
That brings us to the story, or the complete lack of depth that the story contains. Every character, from the most visibly present all the way down to the tiny foot soldiers are cardboard cut outs to the extreme. If you look for depth in any of the characters you’ll quickly be screaming ouch as giant cardboard cuts appear all over your fingers. I know that The Guns Of Navarone is just a flashy action flick, but it tries to convince the viewer that it is so much more and it fails miserably in that regard. Gregory Peck plays his role of Captain Mallory in morose fashion and occasionally drops words of wisdom upon the rest of his teammates and that is when we as the audience are supposed to go, “Ooh, that’s deep.” But, it’s not, it’s philosophical mumbo jumbo that doesn’t add much to the film at all and never actually means anything or matters in the slightest.
The bottom line when it comes to The Guns Of Navarone is that you shouldn’t go into it expecting a movie with actual depth. If you’re like me you’ll realize very quickly that the directors should have trimmed some time from the film to make a better action flick as opposed to an action flick that tries and fails to be more than it is. Enjoy the explosions and the shoot outs, even the terribly over the top ones with comically bad deaths, but leave your credibility meters at the door, you’ll be all the better for it, trust me.