(1979, GB, 102 mins) Dir Peter Hunt. Cast Roger Moore, Edward Fox, Barbara Carrera, Donald Pleasance.
In an unnamed oil-rich Middle Eastern country, aging guns for hire Moore and Fox are hired for a covert sabotage mission by the sultan’s envoy (Carrera) for reasons vague enough to give me pause, were I a mercenary, but doesn’t seem to faze these two. Of course it’s all a con and before long the hunters become the hunted. Though it’s a little sluggish in the opening stretch, director Hunt still betrays some of the panache of his sole Bond entry and before long gun battles, quips and explosions are ten a penny. Both leads seem to be enjoying themselves and Pleasance makes for an entertaining, if inexplicably German, adversary. The happy ending – where our heroes toast a successful mission that, as a side-effect, causes a massive oil spill in the clear blue waters of the gulf – seems a trifle odd to these eyes and not necessarily the cause for celebration but then perhaps this is why I’ve never succeeded as a cold-hearted mercenary. Enjoyable stuff for a Sunday afternoon but it’d probably be best to have disengaged the brain some first.