“The Eiger Sanction” (1975)
If the opening scene of “The Eiger Sanction” is any indication, one would expect to be seeing a straightforward espionage drama. However, when we are soon introduced to a black agent named Jemima Brown (Vonetta McGee), an albino intelligence chief named Dragon (Thayer David) and a flamboyant gay villain (Jack Cassidy) with a dog named Faggot, it becomes clear that the enterprise is not exactly meant to be taken seriously, and therein lies the problem with Clint Eastwood’s film of the Trevanian thriller; not a lack of tone, but an inability to choose from scene to scene just what kind of film is intended. It’s a thriller. It’s a parody of a thriller. It’s both simultaneously, and therefore succeeds at neither. Which is a shame, for what works in the film is quite spectacular, with action sequences that are literally jaw dropping without once reverting to the tired reliance on blazing guns or noisy explosions.
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