The Fourth Protocol

Why is it that paranoid cold-war spy films were more numerous in the mid-80s than at any other period since the worst days of McCarthyism? Mulling this question over makes for a better use of time than sitting through this glib, repulsive thriller, another Frederick Forsyth special. Adapted from his fifth novel by Forsyth himself (who also coproduced), the picture concerns a Soviet spy who is smuggling an atomic bomb into England piece by piece while a British agent tries to track him down. Overlong, alternately nasty and tedious, with uniformly colorless and humorless characters; neither director John Mackenzie nor actors Michael Caine, Pierce Brosnan, Ned Beatty, and Joanna Cassidy can juice up the proceedings. (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.