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The influence of Bond is writ large in this very cheap and Mystery Science Theater-worthy thriller (cf Agent for H.A.R.M.). Lex Barker saunters through most of the action as Steve Martin, hand in pocket, careful not to take things too seriously and mostly incredulous at the unmotivated action that unravels around him.
From the moment he disembarks at Cape Town harbour he is beset with snooping policemen, eager women and danger. As a Capetonian, it is really funny watching Helga (Ann Smyrner) drive Steve along the Atlantic seaboard while driving over picturesque Chapman's Peak (twice) which is on the opposite side of the mountains. Of course, the reason for this is to throw in an action-packed car-chase.
Seductive and dangerous woman (check), villain with a foreign accent (check), innovative but failed assassination attempts (check, including underwater scuba manoeuvre), dramatic exterior set-pieces (check, including unnecessary trip to the Cango Caves and game park), dangerous animals (check), racist exploitation of local scenes and people (check).
The opening scene (which uncannily foreshadows Live and Let Die)is great and gives viewers a chance to see District Six on screen. This was just before the apartheid government began its program of forced removals. The Table Mountain climax - the film's alternate title is Table Bay - is both laughable and spectacular, and so badly edited you wonder if everyone was enjoying Cape Town's beach action a little too much. Still, it's a curiosity for those keen to see Cape Town in a previous era, or to see the influence of the espionage genre in the wake of James Bond.
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