Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
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Spanish/Italian made European James Bond style spy thriller. When a professor's powerful invention, a molecular disintegration weapon is stolen, it's up to super cool agent 077 Mike Murphy to retrieve the dangerous tool and take care of the potential evildoers. Filled with fights, car chases, gadgetry and beautiful women, this spy adventure helped create an action/spy mini-genre craze in Europe in the mid 1960's along with the first three James Bond films. Written by
Luis Dávila needs to find an almost magic square of metal
In "Espionage in Tangiers" (1965), a professor and two helpers have developed a ray gun that's like a phasar from Star Trek. It dematerializes whatever the ray hits. It's the ultimate weapon. It needs an almost magic small piece of a new alloy to work, and that's the McGuffin. As soon as the test is successful, it's heisted and the dead bodies start to pile up. Luis Dávila is the secret agent called in to find it, and his first lead is in Tangiers. On the airplane he runs into one friendly but competitive female agent. In Tangiers, his contact is bumped off and he seeks out another tougher female spy, Perla Cristal, before running up against the man (Alberto Dalbés) who wants to get this device and peddle it to the highest bidder.
Plenty of complications permeate this adventure. The locations are great. There is some lovely oceanside scenery with mountains and a cliff house accessed by a vertical rope ladder. The old cars look great; one being a 1964 white Cadillac convertible I think. There's one sequence in the Casbah, reached by steps familiar from the Boyer movie "Algiers".
The movie has some definite faults. At one point, the Caddy is stuck in mud. After a cut to another part of this chase scene, the next scene shows Dávila driving off. Dávila smiles much too much and too broadly, not able to match Sean Connery at all. The ending is too abrupt, and the weapon doesn't get used when it could be. Still, the movie is good-natured amid its violence, even some torture, and easy to relax to and enjoy. It wouldn't exist if not for the Bond spy concept, which is a spy who makes merry with female spies and jauntily kills when he has to. In this movie, however, Dávila doesn't use a gun, not that I recall. He uses the martial arts to fight off several men at a time.
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