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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 colleague Nikolai Petrov he sets off to St. Petersburg to try and find it. Along the way he must deal with the violent Russian Mafia, and also find Nikolai's girlfriend Tatiana who has been kidnapped. Written by
Well, as a movie, it isn't that great, very predictable, specially who the bad one is. How ever, I have been going to St Petersburg just about every year since 1998, but not this year :( and it really made me miss her.
What I liked about the movie was that it should a lot of real Russians (like at the Circus) and had many Russian actors, and pretty realistically portrayed St Petersburg, including the feuds between the mafias at that time, and the checking for weapons at some popular restaurants. I also recognized the interior of the Nevskii Palac which has since changed hands but is still a ***** hotel. I stayed across the street once and around the corner once for a week in Russian style flats for what they want for a night ;-) I don't speak fluent Russian, but I know enough to understand that he was told to meet the guy that was shot at the Leningradky Vokzahl (railway station) by the statue of Lenin. This is a famous place in SPB, one of the few public statues of Lenin still existing and people jokingly mention that he looks like he is trying to flag down a 'cab' (not an official one of course, just any car, including an army vehicle, that might be headed in the right direction). So when he makes the misleading statements about going to Moskow and shows up at the Moskovsky Vokszhal I was wondering what they would do until he took another cab to the right place. Rarely do I get the 'insider's thrill' like this'.
Not a movie to watch if you want great cinema, but one to see for glimpses of real Russia. I also liked that the Russians were not the bad guys per se and vice versa.
Could have been a much better movie. I was not surprised to learn it was 'made for TV'. Michael Caine was Michael Caine, which is to say the character fits him like a glove, but he did seem to be mailing his performance in. Needed a much stronger director I think.
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