Force 10 from Navarone (1978)

Movie Title: Force 10 from Navarone

Year Released: 1978

Rated: PG

Runtime: 1h 58min

Genre: Action, Drama, War

Director: Guy Hamilton

Writer: Robin Chapman (based on the novel by Alistair MacLean)

Starring: Robert Shaw, Harrison Ford, Barbara Bach, Edward Fox, Franco Nero, Carl Weathers, Richard Kiel, Alan Badel, Michael Byrne, Philip Latham, Angus MacInnes, Michael Sheard, Petar Buntic

Review: During the second world war, a team of allied commandos are assembled for a mission to destroy a bridge that is vital to the enemy's stranglehold on eastern Europe. Barnsby (Harrison Ford) and Mallory (Robert Shaw) lead the battle-hardened band of brothers behind enemy lines to overcome numerous life-and-death obstacles and blow the bridge to bits. You haven't known thrills, action, and adventure until you join up with the Force 10 from Navarone.

This is a direct sequel to the 1961 hit The Guns of Navarone, which I'm sad to say I have never seen, but after watching Force 10 from Navarone, I am going to seek it out! Force 10 from Navarone follows the war movie formula that was quite popular during the '60s and 70s' - Army intelligence shows there's a way to weaken Germany's military forces so an irregular team of soldiers are assembled and dropped behind enemy lines in an attempt to avoid capture or death as the try to accomplish their near impossible mission. Sounds fun and excited, right? Well, it is!

Force 10 from Navarone features an all-star cast consisting of Robert Shaw, Harrison Ford, Barbara Bach, Edward Fox, Franco Nero, Carl Weathers, and Richard Kiel. Shaw takes over for Gregory Peck from the first film, as does Edward Fox for David Niven. My favorite character and performance is that of Edward Fox as the demolitions expert Miller. He confident, smart, and humorous as he seems only concerned with his suitcase filled with a wild array of explosive devices. Shaw has fun as a witty, world-wiry soldier that's seen too much. However, those looking to see Harrison Ford as a Han Solo or Indiana Jones type are going to be disappointed. His character is fairly one-dimensional as a man on a mission that wants to see the target get completely destroyed. Shaw and Ford are good together as they butt heads as of what their next move should be after the situation goes from bad to worse.

The big highlights are the action, double-crosses, triple-crosses, shocking revelations, and the explosive conclusion. There are plenty of stellar shoot-outs, thrilling dogfights, nerve-shattering close-calls, and bombs bursting all around, as the entertaining cast gets us to root for them. Trust me, by the end you'll saying, "DAM! This movie was action-packed!"

My only concerns here are that there are a far too many subplots going on. So much so that it kind of distracts from the main plot and goal of of heroes and slows things down at times. But the spy games are suspenseful, the little side-trips are interesting, and the hiccups along the way keep you guessing if things will work out in the end.

Force 10 from Navarone is fun, popcorn fare that's sure to please action/adventure fans!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Both Wolf Kahler and Michael Byrne play German soldiers trying to thwart Harrison Ford in both this film and the Indiana Jones series.


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