Condor’s Nest review
Condor’s Nest starts off promising with a relatively straightforward World War II revenge quest before losing its way and turning into an awkward slapstick comedy.
William Spaulding (Jacob Keohane, Halloween Kills) has been tormented for the last decade for PTSD partially of his own making.
As part of a US bombing fleet, William’s plane was shot down by German forces. William’s commanding officer sends him off to a house in the distant to pick off any Nazis sure to arrive at the crash site.
Paralyzed by fear, William can only watch on as German SS officer Col. Martin Bach (Arnold Vosloo, Jack Ryan) guns down the rest of the crew.
While inaction led to his fellow soldiers being killed that day, William has set out to avenge them by hunting down former Nazis in hopes of tracking down and killing Bach.
Director/writer Phil Blattenberger conceives a solid premise with an easy buy-in plot that seems like it could be the basis for any prime-era Liam Neeson action film.
Keohane even resembles a young Neeson to further the comparison and more than makes for a credible enough lead to carry that film through to the end credits.
Blattenberger complicates matters by introducing Albert Vogel (Al Pagano), a brilliant scientist who was busy working on the German’s atomic bomb when the war ended. Vogel is quirky introducing an unnecessary comedic element. It’s especially weird since the Nazi collaborator is being forced into the comedic sidekick role.
To further complicate the dynamic, Blattenberger introduces Leyna Rann (Corinne Britti), a Mossad agent who isn’t interested in William’s revenge efforts. She wants Vogel and doesn’t care about the bigger, more important Nazis that Williams wants to bring down.
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Eventually, the unlikely trio strike a tentative alliance — Vogel will lead William to Bach and he’ll go into custody with Leyna. While this dramatically changes the flow of the film, Blattenberger steers it to more of a Raiders of the Lost Ark style adventure.
That puts more on Keohane to be more of a dashing swashbuckler type instead of the calculated killer type, which eventually becomes an awkward fit. Britti plays Leyna very one-note making for a flat addition to the group.
The film starts to get bloated with some clunky performances from Jackson Rathbone, Bruce Davison, James Urbaniak and Michael Ironside that border on caricatures.
It’s probably not a coincidence that all of their characters are Nazis, further making them come off like cackling, incompetent boobs. The comedy just doesn’t work and it becomes too much of a focus ruining all of the film’s momentum.
Battle effects are adequate with only a few blood sprays coming off as looking overly cheap.
With an hour forty two minute run time, the film starts to get too long in the middle specifically with an extended scene focusing on the surviving Nazi high command.
Blattenberger crafts a solid finale with more of an action slant that probably should have been the focus from the start.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Photo Credit: Saban Films