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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
Every film series runs it's course eventually. Sometimes it's the audience that gets fatigued and votes with it's wallet by not attending the latest sequel and other times the latest sequel runs out of ideas and falls flat.
Harry Palmers audience did the first in 1968 with the ''Billion Dollar Brain'' - a smart adaption of Deighton's novel which itself was quite outlandish in comparison to the film versions of the ''Ipcress File'' and ''Funeral in Berlin''.
The second time a rejuvenated Harry Palmer series ran out of steam was in this film during which the latter happened.
Come the mid 1990's with dwindling good acting opportunities for Michael Caine and a new appetite for spy thrillers from cinema-goers two more Harry Palmer films were committed to celluloid. The first ''Bullet to Beijing'' was a nice if flawed reunion movie for an older Harry Palmer but it's sequel here ''Midnight in St. Petersburg gets swiftly derailed by a bankrupt script and lower budget.
The problem is that it very much plays like a remake of it's immediate predecessor only with a much smaller scope and budget. It even revolves around a film studio location in it's later stages...
The plot is Harry Palmer has set up a private investigation agency in Russia and he has to search for some stolen Plutonion as well as his assistants ballerina girlfriend who has been abducted. The two story strands come together in the films finale at midnight in St. Petersburg.
Michael Caine is always entertaining as Harry Palmer but he looks bored here. Some of the supporting actors are quite good and some are just plain bad. The dialogue is very poor at times and it's all quite forgettable.
That said if you don't compare it to the other films in the series it is reasonably entertaining overall and there are a few genuinely good scenes in the film. But it was definitely a sequel too many for Harry Palmer I'm sure most would agree.
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