Late in World War II, the Brits still want their hands on a German Enigma, the typewriter-like machine that constructs and sends coded messages. Parachuting behind enemy lines - with two days to find the factory where Enigmas are made, grab one, and get out - are an unlikely quartet: a queen, a pencil pusher, a bookworm, and an almost secret agent. Plus they are all dressed as women, with only a crash course from the queen. They reach their destination, rendezvous with their German contact, a lovely librarian, and start their search. They seemed doomed to fail; is this a fool's errand?Written by
In this film, comedian Eddie Izzard plays an English soldier who cross-dresses. Eddie is a transvestite himself, and one of his stand-up routines (concerning transvestites in the armed forces) goes, "The main element of attack is the element of surprise. So what could be more surprising than the first battalion transvestite brigade?" (See Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill (1999)). See more »
Nicolette Krebitz tells Matt LeBlanc that she got him a long-sleeved dress because "German women don't shave their underarms" (and Matt had shaved). However, she introduces Matt as an Italian, not a German. See more »
Well, actually, I'm a bisexual lesbian in a man's body... but it's more complicated than that.
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With Matt LeBlanc in the title role, I'm afraid that I feared the worst as there is certainly a compelling reason for him not appearing in many feature films; one can certainly point a camera at him, but I can't understand why someone would point a microphone at him.
However, his supporting cast certainly props him up well. Eddie Izzard in particular. And Nicolette Krebitz is certainly a delight to look at and someone who seems to be able to act.
In general, this film can't decide what it is. Comedy? Drama? Espionage? There's certainly not a lot of comedy outside of the guys wearing dresses. Then again, Berlin in the dying days of WW2 probably wasn't a whole lot of laughs.
The voice-over/explanation before the film even begins is worthless and should be deleted from all future prints. Yet while the producers seem to want to force this down our throats, they wouldn't spring for sub-titles during the German portions of the film.
The writing is nothing to salute and from people with less-than-noteworthy careers. The directing by Ruzowitzky is noteworthy only in it's lack of noteworthiness. Pretty static and boring.
Not a film to run screaming from, but I wouldn't recommend seeking it out, either.
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