Donald Sutherland plays one of the members of the odd group appropriately named Oddball. Oddball commands three Sherman tanks and helps act as the brawn to help their forces pierce through the enemy lines to get to the money. This is a bit of a departure from Sutherland's usual characters, as he often does play saner roles, well at least saner than this. Oddball's name just is not just a name as he has a philosophy, style and accent all his own. This performance is all about the creation of the character, who is rather consistent throughout as he always stays in his very peculiar manner throughout the film. It really would be out of character for Oddball to strive for long from his own personal daze.
Sutherland's performance is weird, but it's the right type of weird. He delivers every line with his bizarre accent that only succeeds in accentuating every random statement that he seems to make. Sutherland's performance works because he is entertaining to watch him simply do whatever it Oddball is doing. He importantly finds the right tone to play Oddball in, in that he never goes too far with his performance. He, in I suppose the Sutherland fashion, doesn't really play Oddball in a loud crazy fashion. Sutherland instead is very effective in playing the weirdness in a fairly quiet fashion, which works in portraying his very relaxed attitude and philosophy toward life and the war.
Sutherland's portrayal of Oddball's antics in the war scenes are particularly striking as he still seems to take everything in stride even when he is taking down a column of German men with his tank unit. The scene might seem a bit intense, but not at all thanks in part to Donald Sutherland's Oddball. It is easy to see how everything involving Oddball could have failed miserably a he is a very absurd character, which often can mean a very obnoxious character. Sutherland makes everything work at just the right pitch turning Oddball into an endearing and strangely lighthearted presence in the film.
Sutherland portrayal of Oddball is just a fun performance to watch. He has some very enjoyable moments throughout the film but my favorite moment of Sutherland's has to be his casual dismissive behavior when Oddball reveals he knows how to ride in tanks, but does not know how they work in anyway. My problem is that the film does seem like it perhaps left off some great moments off the cutting room floor as the film did leave me wanting more of almost all the main characters including Oddball. Sutherland even with that gives a rather memorable turn with his portrayal of this rather memorable character.