Geoff Dyer's tribute to a film he has loved since childhood: it's a scene-by-scene analysis—or should that be send-up?—taking us from it's snowy, Teutonic opening credits to its vertigo-inducing climax.
The magpie eclecticism of Geoff Dyer is something to wonder at. His books are like party turns, each one different from the last while all bearing his distinctly puckish signature ... Dyer makes for a droll guide, combining a scene-by-scene breakdown of the film’s silliness with gonzo riffs on its cultural legacy ... less a work of film criticism than a jeu d’esprit ... it’s not the movie itself that holds him, or us, but its effectiveness as nostalgia, its throwback to a more innocent time when a man with a Schmeisser machine gun and a length of thin rope could seemingly win the war for Britain and be back home in time for tea.
... [Dyer's] brilliant descriptions of the film’s key scenes leave us in little doubt that the relentless action and the twists and turns of the plot are viscerally rewarding ... Dyer’s wry humour is everywhere evident, as when he describes Eastwood’s trademark squint ('Eastwood has basically squinted his way through five decades of superstardom'), or when, as an aside, he wonders if the castle has a well-stocked stationery cupboard. 'There is never a dull moment in Where Eagles Dare,' he writes, and nor is there in this book.
Delightful ... a very funny book. It’s occasionally a moving one ... somehow manages to stay lively while talking us through the entire plot of the film ... Some of Dyer’s targets are well-worn, but he finds fresh routes of attack ... The archness is occasionally exhausting ... remains a delightful celebration of a martial pop culture that flourished between the Suez Crisis and the rise of Mrs Thatcher. File with your bound sets of Commando comics.