You know a movie is gonna be bad when it warns that the events depicted in this fictional movie are fictional, but that’s the least of the problems with the over-budget, over-directed, and overly long wet blanket war epic Inchon. The movie takes place during the Communist overthrow in Korea and the Battle of Inchon in 1950. It also throws in stories involving Barbara (Jacqueline Bassett) driving through South Korea with orphan children to meet her ex-husband Lt. Hallsworth (Ben Gazzara) and Douglas MacArthur (Laurence Olivier) setting up plans for battle and raiding a lighthouse to signal the battleships. I guess Terence Young was trying to channel David Lean with a giant cast of extras in grand sets and landscapes, but in Inchon, the story and subplots connect so little it feels more like a pilot for a 1950’s TV show than a movie. However, the cornball melodrama, overabundance on pyrotechnic effects, and horrendous writing makes it more on par with the material for B-movies. More problems: the Korean invasion scenes tie very little to what’s going on in the story, the battle sequences seem randomly scattered for no coherent reason, every extra overacts when blown up, and the love story is meaningless. Worst of all, when MacArthur showed up thirty minutes in, the movie seemed to jump ship on one story and steer focus to another, almost as if the screenwriter forgot who the main characters were and wanted to mimic Patton. Well to my knowledge, Laurence Olivier is no George C. Scott and Robin Moore and Laird Koenig are no Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North, either. To compare Inchon to Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor would be an extraordinary insult, as Mr. Bay has more respect for explosions and knows how to keep his schlocky storylines consistently. Inchon, on the other hand, is a complete messy disaster from start to finish.
(1 Corn Cob Pipe out of 5)