|Index||6 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
British scientists have developed a new means of aircraft propulsion -
a nuclear unit protected by a lightweight metal known as 'Spurium'. A
gang of villains, headed by 'Angel' ( Michael Ripper ), want to steal a
sample to sell to the Russians. But 'Charles Vine' ( Tom Adams ) is not
about to let them...
The second Charles Vine spy spoof. Adams is his usual laconic self, but Michael Pittock's script lacks the twists and turns of the first movie's screenplay. Ripper was not cut out to play Bondian villains, ditto Tim Barrett, cast as the bowler-hatted assassin 'Seraph'. Though given equal billing with Adams, Dawn Addams is only on screen for the last twenty minutes.
Cameos from Sid James as a mortician, Joe Baker as a Cabinet Minister and Wilfred Brambell as a train station guard liven the low budget proceedings. Lindsay Shonteff, director of the first Vine picture, was replaced by horror specialist John Gilling. The highlight is a thunderingly good prologue in which Vine - in drag - helps thwart a terrorist rocket attack on The Houses Of Parliament. Best among the supporting cast is John Arnatt, back as Vine's harassed boss 'Rockwell'. Vine returned one last time in 'Somebody's Stolen Our Russian Spy' in 1968.
Funniest moment - getting into a taxi, Vine says "Waterloo!". The driver looks baffled. "The station?". "Bit late for the battle!", quips the secret agent.
Tom Adams is Agent Vine (not Bond) in this film that is so unfunny that it runs way too serious and makes the film look like a poorman's James Bond clone. The opening scene involving agent dressed in drags, cool opening credit, and the Sidney James scene is the only highlight in this film. Either than that, the film is just plain boring. Adams played the character well, but the script didn't leave him to do much spoof or comedy that he's character runs flat. Very disjointed script. Not recommended.
Never,ever give in to any impulse you might ever have to watch this movie.It is BAD.It is a sequel to an even worse piece of garbage directed by Lindsay Shonteff,possibly the world's worst ever movie director.That was called LICENCE TO KILL and the licence should have been used to kill that movie and this inept follow-up.Tom Adams could have made a good Conneryesque spy hero out of agent Charles Vine given the right material.He certainly wasn't given it here.The best part about it is the very Bondian title song belted out in full Bassey mode by Susan Maughan.
Budget-wise, location-wise and production value-wise, this bargain
basement spoof of the Bond films pretty much scrapes the barrel.
Actually, though, John Gilling (better known for Hammer horror)
directed it niftily enough and in patches even makes it quite witty.
Tom Adams carries off the hero part with nice deadpan aplomb and gets good support from Michael Ripper as main baddie Mr Angel, Joe Baker as an oafish Labour minister, and a Sid James cameo as a mortuary attendant ("Business is perking up here," he says over the phone while ducking from a frenzied shoot-out). Cheesy organ music and locations that include a gasworks and sewer add to the threadbare fun.
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
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Where The Bullets Fly" is the second of three Charles Vine movies made in the 1960s; based on the two I've seen so far (this one and "Someone's Stolen Our Russian Spy") I won't be in any hurry to track down the other one ("The Second Best Secret Agent In The Whole Wide World") anytime soon, even though it seems to be considered the best of the three by far. "Where The Bullets Fly" never takes off; it is neither funny nor exciting, although the jaunty music score tries to convince you of both. The women have nearly non-existent roles, and as for Charles Vine himself, he is such a smarmy character that he makes Derek Flint look like Harry Palmer. *1/2 out of 4.
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