‘The Exception’

Even Christopher Plummer Can’t Save this Film

As much as I want to root for Christopher Plummer, even he can’t save The Exception, a genuinely interesting idea for a movie that is ruthlessly squandered at every opportunity. Plummer plays former Kaiser Wilhelm II, who is trapped in his castle during World War II by scheming Nazi authorities. He is also trapped by his own delusions of returning to his throne, though I was confused whether we were supposed root for him as an exemplar of twinkly eyed decency or pity him as an addled old fool. All of this, however, was but pretext to incite the help — a pulchritudinous kraut and sultry chamber maid — into much bosomy heaving, smoldering exchanges, and bedspring squeak-age. Gratuitous nudity suffers greatly in the process, as does pretty much everything in the movie, as the improbable and implausible are given carte blanche to beat the impossible to death. Or is it the other way around? If you want to see naked people, save your money, stay home, and look at yourself in the mirror. If you have riding boots, put them on. Better yet, check out reruns of Hogan’s Heroes.

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