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.
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.
Following the suicide of an elderly Jewish man, a journalist in possession of the man's diary investigates the alleged sighting of a former S.S. Captain, who commanded a concentration camp during World War II.
KGB agent Major Valeri Petrofsky has been reassigned at the request of the KGB Chairman for a secret mission wherein he is sent to England to establish a residence near an American military base and receive various items from couriers from the USSR. John Preston is the top British spy catcher, currently at odds with his superior because he doesn't lick his boots. After he conducts an operation without his superior's permission caused his superior some embarrassment, he is reassigned to the menial task of overseeing airports and ports. One day one the couriers Petrofsky was expecting comes off a freighter has an accident which leaves him dead. Preston is informed by the pathologist that the man is not a seaman so Preston goes through his things and finds that he was carrying something which he is told is an atomic bomb component. Preston now suspects that someone is bringing in parts for an atomic bomb, his superior doesn't want to let Preston be proven right so he doesn't authorize ...Written by
The version shown on British Television contains all the violence but is missing one entire scene involving Michael Caine knocking out two racially abusive skinheads on an underground train. The scene was reinstated for the BBC1 showing on 8th February 2006. See more »
Pretty standard spy thriller with a good performance from Pierce Brosnan
Rogue spies try to undermine the Fourth Protocol, which is a secret agreement between the USA, Britain and Russia to cease smuggling nuclear weapons into their respective countries. A Soviet agent is sent to the UK to stage a nuclear accident that could be blamed on the Americans and set off a chain reaction of events to unbalance this stand-off.
The Fourth Protocol is based on a novel written by Frederick Forsyth. I have never read it but have read others by this author. His style focuses on the intricate detail of the spy/politics of his thrillers, while his characters contrastingly always seem to be really cardboard, with very little recognisably human about them. With this in mind it's not too surprising that The Day of the Jackal was his most successful book, seeing as the very blankness of the central character was an actual important plot point. But usually this weakness in characterisation is more noticeable. The Fourth Protocol is a quite typical Forsyth spy thriller, in that it has a fairly detailed plot and paper thin characters. Michael Caine phones it in as a Harry Palmer type spy who doesn't play by the rules. It's a quite weak and clichéd character and to be honest Caine doesn't bring much to the table with this one. Pierce Brosnan, on the other hand, is pretty good as the cold Soviet killer. Like in Day of the Jackal, it's this villain who is the more interesting when set alongside the dull heroes, meaning that its actually the bad guy whom we want to succeed, which I'm sure could not have exactly been the original intention. Unlike Caine, Brosnan is playing against type and certainly makes better work of what he is given and is certainly the best thing about the movie. On the whole, this is a pretty standard spy film, with nothing very distinctive about it. Despite its generic nature, it is quite enjoyable though.
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