A researcher for the CIA who convinces his superiors to send him to the eastern bloc in order to avenge the murder of his wife by enemy agents discovers a web of deception underneath his wife\'s death.
John Savage ... Charles Heller
Christopher Plummer ... Professor Lakos
Marthe Keller ... Elisabeth
Arthur Hill ... Brewer
Nicholas Campbell ... Schraeger
George Coe ... Rutledge
John Marley ... Molton
Jan Rubes ... Kaplan
Ed Lauter ... Anderson
Miguel Fernandes ... Botaro
Jan Triska ... Rodzenko
Graham Jarvis ... Porter
Jacques Godin ... Argus
Chapelle Jaffe ... Gretchen
This is the movie that introduced me to international intrigue. For this, I owe it many things. It paved the way for me to appreciate several important historical points that have served me well in the ensuing years of my education.
What attracted me to this movie was the aspect of a complete amateur being caught up in the world of terrorism. His utter frustration is handled and eventual involvement is treated, without a lot of glitzy, unnecessary gadgets or gratuitous or cartoonish (and unbelievable) violence.
No, nothing of that is experienced in this movie. And thank goodness for that. The grittiness is real. There are no cardboard characters like Matt Damon and Tom Cruise battling European forces of evil. You feel for JOHN SAVAGE and his life. You care for him and his pain...you feel his frustrations and his victories.
Yes, this is intrigue at its most real depiction (within the framework of a commercial movie.) Human life is important, cherished and defended.
You will come from this experience with the idea of what a more realistic exposition of events can be.
I recommend anyone who still loves intrigue done without a lot of CGI junk thrown in.
The film certainly isn\'t bad, but at the same time I couldn\'t call it fantastic either. Therefor, the story is built on just too much coincidences and unlikely events. Also, the idea of the non-experienced CIA man managing to do unlikely things, exactly because he\'s no trained and therefor predictable field agent has been treated in a much more convincing way in \"Three Days of the Condor\".
Christopher Plummer was doing a relatively nice job as Professor Lakos, but on the whole, I found the actors too neither sensational, neither incredibly bad. Same thing for the OST. That is -to me at least- the weak point of the movie: it is in almost all its aspects \"just average\", nothing more, nothing less.
The strongest side of the movie is the excellent choice of locations. The chosen Austrian landscapes, and a few Skoda\'s here and really give the impression the movie has been shot somewhere in Eastern Europe.
This movie explores revenge, why, the morality, the effects, so it is somewhat deeper than your usual simple blood revenge flic.
The movie starts out portraying the CIA as a bunch of boy scouts. I said to myself \"Get real\". However, as the layers of the onion peel off, a much darker picture emerges. I won\'t spoil the surprises.
The movie has a very relaxed pace by modern standards.
Nicholas Campbell plays a terrorist. You only get to see him for brief glimpses. His astounding good looks are distracting. It is hard to whip up fear or hate for someone so startlingly handsome.
The movie keeps you guessing who is behind the relentless legions out to kill our naive hero. His endless narrow escapes from a variety of enemies severely stretch credulity. After all, before this began, he had never even held a gun.
I really enjoyed the setting, Prague, including the beautiful warm cozy interiors. Exotic settings are a third of my enjoyment from the genre.
Much of the dialog is not in English. There are no subtitles. This is an artistic device, since the hero has only shaky knowledge of languages other than English. It makes you see things from his point of view.
The scene where the hero dispatches the female terrorist is shocking, even by today\'s gruesome standards, with much the effect the piano wire assassination had way back in From Russia With Love.
The story is that of mystery and action. Its beginning minutes include an ordinary man seeing the broadcast of an American woman being held hostage in a foreign country. The woman is executed in broad daylight. This woman is his mate. How would you feel? What would you do? The movie focuses on the reaction of such an event by a normal guy. First there is confusion followed by deep conflict in determining the resolve. Much like it would be in today\'s world, an ordinary man with a small flame can kindle it into an emotionally fiery rage to react. The challenges in this venture are not glorified or unbelievable feats and therefore the viewer can achieve a state of reality and belief. Having several personal intimate experiences with our Government to include within its employ, and having lived and worked in foreign countries as well, I find it real easy to dismiss the few negative feedback remarks on this film as being authored in ignorance or being naive. I do love my country but is everyone an Angel within its employ? no way.... Would the Government refuse to negotiate publicly with terrorist yet negotiate amongst themselves? absolutely.... If you have a military background, specialized training or even just been an outdoors person you may also identify with a lot of the physical activity in this film. The story is even more interesting now over two decades later after its making, having a beginning that parallels the recent American executions video-taped and published by Al-Qaeda early this 21st century. This movie is by far one of John Savage\'s greatest performances. Savage delivers a stellar performance in this picture. This is a great film and one of best of the less known adventure films in existence today. If you get the chance to sit and watch this movie from start to finish, you will be entertained- try to see this one.