It's good to have Harry Palmer back!
D. M. Farmbrough | Wisconsin, USA | 02/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In which a British agent is forcibly retired, comes out of retirement, nearly sleeps with a young Russian agent, does some espionage on a train, meets Burt Kwouk, and saves the world.The first three Harry Palmer films were very much products of their times in that they were made during the 'cold war' and had much of their action set in Swinging London. They also benefitted from a young Michael Caine establishing himself as a screen star. The new films had to change approach. London now seems to be full of nothing but traffic, the cold war is supposedly over, and Caine's age meant that it became incongruous to have him in exactly the same role he played thirty years earlier.This situation has been tackled before. Callan, James Bond, and Smiley have all come out of retirement, Glasnost has been tackled well in the later James Bonds, and the emphasis on London is seldom seen these days in British films.
So to some extent Harry Palmer's comeback is a cross between Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye and it all seems a bit familiar. Nevertheless Caine's watchability and charm keep the film moving and the rather slow opening soon gives way to classy chases, set pieces, and so on, all laced with the cynicism and intelligence that characterised the first three movies. The score by Rick Wakeman is good, being based on traditional Russian music, but in places it's inappropriate and undermines the action.It's a bit of a shame these films weren't made in the 1970s or 1980s as the transition would have been easier, but all in all, it's good to see him back."
Underrated, enjoyable and a sting in the tail
Trevor J. Hall | PERRY,, ME USA | 05/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A believable glimpse into the self-serving British beauracracy and the modern Russia.
Caine is Caine - superb. The younger Connery is obviously going places.
An informative romp through Russia with subtle nuances and ultimate treachery in store.
Well worth the few pennies for an excellent product."
This is one sad movie
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is little more than a parody of the espionage genre. Ridiculous and extremely confusing plot, stereotypical characters, pitiful screenplay, poorly filmed ... I could go on and on but what would be the use? An example of the pathetic story: Michael Caine and Jason Connery are tossed off a train in the middle of Siberia. After five minutes of walking along the train track they suddenly find themselves in an airport outside a teeming city, where they get the last two seats on an airplane. Then, the airplane runs out of gas and serenely lands in a cow pasture where all the passengers grumpily exit the plane. This was just one of a series of scenes that were not only mindless but unexciting.This movie was so bad it defies belief! Spend your money elsewhere!"