Coming during a particularly fertile period for Frankenheimer (MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY, SECONDS), this seems much more linear and stolid as storytelling, but its unique cultural heritage angle and many impressive shots make it a very engaging WWII thriller. Lancaster does some impressive physical work and the landscapes are put to good use.
An enjoyably quirky and visually impressive homage to the French graphic novel, as well as '60s/'70s euro "Metal hurlant" space opera. It's refreshing to see a non-Marvel/DC/Disney blockbuster, even if unique projects like this (see also "John Carter," to say nothing of "Buckaroo Bonzai") tend to flop with U.S. critics and audiences. The general political thrust (a critique of genocide masked as militarism) makes up for its lapses in taste, such as the wholesale slaughter of some ugly aliens at a banquet. A lot more fun than any of the last eight or nine Star Wars movies.