Former British secret agent Harry Palmer now runs a Private Investigation company in Russia. He gets a job to locate and recover a consignment of stolen Plutonium, and with the help of ... See full summary »
A war veteran tries to investigate the murder of his son who was working as a Russian translator for the British intelligence service during the Cold War. He meets a web of deception and paranoia that seems impenetrable...
John Preston is a British agent with the task of preventing the Russians detonating a nuclear explosion next to an American base in the UK. The Russians are hoping this will shatter the 'special relationship' between the two countries.
When long-time British agent Harry Palmer loses his job because the Cold War is over, he's promptly approached by a Russian bossman, Alex. In St. Petersburg Alex tells Harry of his plan for Russia's future, which is threatened because a deadly biochemical weapon called the Red Death has been stolen from him. He'll pay Harry handsomely to retrieve it. An ex-spy friend tips Harry off that it's being sent to Beijing by train, aboard which we begin to learn whose side everyone's really on. Written by
Len Deighton did not even coin the name "Harry Palmer" (the agent in Deighton's books remained unnamed). See more »
Early on, during a gunfight in an alley after the market scene the windscreen of a car is shot and shown in pieces. Afterwards they get in the car to escape and the windscreen has returned, intact. See more »
Return of Harry Palmer is not as bad as expected and is occasionally amusing. The fact that I can only recall a funny car chase scene with falling apart Russian cars is ominous, though. Someone mentioned a boat chase and I vaguely remember it although what it was about, I don't know. Certainly, it's sell out to modernity with violent shoot-outs and deaths seems incongruous to the originals. palmer only shot one person the entire trilogy, If I recall correctly.
The Palmer of those films was something of a blank page. An ironic and detached observer of the self interest around him, surviving on a combination of quick wit, luck and a lack of an ideological axe to grind. His inability to be tempted into corruption at various stages was surprising seeing as he was originally a tacky fraudster in the army but perhaps it's unwise to try and do an analysis of comic book characters, they're basically tosh. The Palmer of 'Bullet' has lost that sixties cool and it's hard to recognise him. He's more like an ex-football or pool hall manager with a drink problem or simply Caine being more his working class self. The effect is rather curious viewing, whimsical but rather sad, as cinema itself is in decline nowadays. Some of the old stalwarts remain, such as Harry meeting 'old friends' who turn out to have no qualms in dispensing with him altogether in the terminal sense. The sequel fizzles out altogether. 'Bullet To Beijing' is only to be viewed as a last resort, that is you have been made redundant, your wife has left you and your TV license is about to expire with no money left in the kitty to renew it.
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