Huston shows how an epic adventure needs to be done. There's so much to enjoy here, from Caine and Connery (neither have ever been better), Plummer and Jaffrey also superb, the opulent canvas and the intelligently acidic portrayal of imperialism and, of course, a cracking yarn that succeeds brilliantly as Huston allows us to enter into the humanity of his protagonists even as we question their delusions and morality.
Michael Caine and Sean Connery play a right couple of scoundrels who plan on making their fortune in a land populated by "savage natives" that they can help, and eventually rule over. The plan turns out to be a pretty good one, surprisingly enough, until things start to sour. Caine and Connery work well together onscreen, the script is a lot of fun, and this remains a classic adventure tale.
A rambunctious, old-school adventure lead by two of the most charismatic macho men around in Connery & Caine. Huston manages to combine humour, action, drama & politics seamlessly into pure entertainment - sort of like Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now without all portentous Brando at the end. Kipling's epic tale takes on a new life under Huston, working as an intriguing allegory of Britain's collapsing empire.
I didn't want it to end. Connery and Caine are such a charismatic pairing. The pacing is slick and the set design and scenery is as good as it gets. It's a great idea for a story. It's not on the same level as something like Apocalypse Now. Rather, this is a more good natured and lighthearted approach to megalomania and Imperialism.
Behind the great adventures and epic quest; the real heart of this movie is its mysticism. While it might work in the background of the action, the music and religious themes of the East are perfectly captured and help a lot in making the movie more than just a popcorn flick.
With such a great cast, story and director, this had all the makings of a classic movie, but almost none of the execution. The pacing was all over the place; the editing felt rushed and choppy. That's not to say it wasn't highly watchable, but I found it to be nowhere near as brilliant as its reputation suggests.