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MASTER PLAN: steal a prototype airplane. It's a rather basic, nuts-'n'-bolts take on the superspy genre - think the James Bond films of the sixties with only a quarter of the budget and no star quality - there was nothing special to justify further films. In this follow-up to "Licensed to Kill" of the previous year, Tom Adams reprises the role of Charles Vine, the 2nd Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World (2nd to Bond, of course). Adams actually warmed to the part here and the tone is slightly more satirical, but the plot is quite dull, even inconsequential. The actor Arnatt is also back as Rockwell, this film's version of M, the supervisor. Besides the slow pace, one scene is even baffling: during a meeting in Rockwell's office between Rockwell, Vine and a double agent, a cat is seated on Rockwell's desk; much of the scene is from the cat's perspective and we also see the faces of the 3 men superimposed over the eyes of the cat. I thought the meaning would be made clear later, but no such luck.
Vine is not very impressive in this story. At one point, he's captured by enemy agents, kept in an odd electrified room which mocks the usual Bond torture scenes and is also drugged, revealing a secret location. His escape is facilitated through the sacrifice of a female; enemy agents proceed to the location Vine gave up and kill the people on-site; Vine follows, punches out a guard - one of the good guys - and, after a long chase, fails to capture the villain. By this point, I was thinking Vine may be the 3rd or 4th best secret agent - maybe even the 5th. In fact, any success Vine enjoys in his struggles, right to very conclusion, stems from the ineptitude of the bad guys. Though much of this is lame, including the strained humor and weird giggling by the main villain, it does retain a bit of the charm of its predecessor. Towards the last half-hour, the focus seems to switch to how many ladies Vine can seduce rather than foiling the plots of the dastards. Dawn Addams, top-billed with Tom Adams, appears late and too briefly. There followed a 3rd film, "OK Y-"something, filmed in Spain, which almost no one has seen or heard of. Hero:6 Villains:5 Femme Fatales:6 Henchmen:4 Fights:5 Stunts/Chases:5 Gadgets:4 Auto:5 Locations:5 Pace:4 overall:5
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