The Boys From Brazil
This film stays true to the Steve Guttenberg Law of Cinema. Simplystated, this theorem dictates that the degree to which an audience member desires to rip his or her eyeballs from the sockets, set them on fire, then flush them down the toilet is directly proportional to the amount of time Steve spends on screen. Unfortunately in this movie, Guttenberg spends an eternity -- fifteen minutes or so -- on screen. In 1978, this appearance caused every knuckle in American theaters to turn white as audiences gripped their drinking straws, ready to attempt Hari Kari the second that fifteen minutes became sixteen.
Fortunately, Steve's young Nazi hunter is butchered in his Paraguayan hotel by Dr. Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck) and his boys after Steve gets a little too close to discovering Josef's plan for World Domination Part II. However, the film becomes confusing at this point because these particular Paraguayan youth would seem to be the boys alluded to in the title, which leads one to wonder whether anyone on the set had the guts to tell director Franklin Schaffner that Paraguay and Brazil are not the same country.
After Steve is murdered and the entire audience is done applauding, famed Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman (Laurence Olivier) picks up Mengele's scent and begins unraveling his plan. This plan revolves around a bunch of extremely annoying adopted children who have jet black hair, blue eyes and are probably rather upset that they're the only kids in the gym shower whose scrotum is noticeably asymmetrical. Hopefully, I haven't given anything away there.
Because Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier were so old when this film was made, this so-called thriller is really little more than Ezra going from place to place asking questions while the audience wonders how Peck got tricked into ruining his reputation. Part of the ending consists of Peck and Olivier rolling around on the floor. This might be like WCW at the old folks' home, but its hardly the payoff we're hoping for after sitting through this glacial "thriller."
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