Figures in a Landscape

Director: Joseph Losey
Year Released: 1970
Rating: 2.0

MacConnachie (Robert Shaw, who also wrote the screenplay based on Barry England's novel) and Ansell (Malcolm McDowell) start the movie sprinting from an ominous black helicopter and keep running the rest of the time, with no explanation as to (1.) why they're being hunted (2.) who they are (3.) where they are or (4.) what is going on.  I'm not sure if Losey intended this to be an allegory - about Vietnam? - or some experiment in existentialism - maybe he saw too many Antonioni movies? - but the film is, if certainly not 'dull' (it's almost all action, with some skillful helicopter piloting), a little alienating: the men 'converse,' but it's mostly Shaw acting like a babbling loon and/or McDowell bragging about being a ladies' man when he's not breaking down.  Is it about how war is awful?  About how existence is a struggle?  About the cruelty of nature?  Sure, yep, why not.