Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Eastwood is in a literal cliffhanger in 'The Eiger Sanction'

The Eiger Sanction (1975)
Starring: Clint Eastwood, George Kennedy, Vonetta McGee, Jack Cassidy and Gregory Walcott
Director: Clint Eastwood
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Jonathan Hemlock (Eastwood), an assassin turned college art professor is blackmailed by his former employers to come out of retirement and perform one last "sanction". The problem is the target is one of three mountain climbers that Hemlock has to entrust his life to during a climbing expedition on Mount Eiger.

"The Eiger Sanction" is a slightly below-average thriller that gets a little extra kick from spectacular nature photography and mountaineering footage in the American southwest and Europe. It also benefits from a nice music soundtrack.

The actors all give decent performances, but the story relies on too many far-fetched coincidences to work and a hidden plot that is really rather pointless. It may be there to underscore the corruption of the spy agency that Hemlock was employed by, but it really does seem like they're going about things the hard way.

The film has moments, but overall it's pretty weak. It might be worth catching if you come across it on TV, but it's not worth going out of your way for. (It's one of the films included in the "Clint Eastwood: American Icon" four-movie collection where it's basically inoffensive filler.)

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