I’d heard this was bad so on the flip side I’ll try to be nice and point out it’s far from Michael Caine and Roger Moore’s best but it did have a couple of skits that elicited laughter thanks to our veterans. Some might say that director Michael Winner never had a “best” period which I think is rather unfair looking back at his earlier films of the sixties and up to the mid seventies. One thing I think it is safe to say is that this film is a perfect example of a few old pals getting together and having a far better time making this comedy then we the viewing audience have watching it.
The film’s plot harkens back to the days of screwball spy films and look alike doubles. First off we have Caine as a scientist trying to create a new form of low cost energy and he has Moore as his front man at the government facility they work at. In a parallel story we have newly released ex-con Caine and his ex-partner and conman Roger Moore. When old flame of both men Sally Kirkland approaches them with an ingenious plot to take the places of their doubles and break into a safe deposit box with millions in diamonds they are back in business together. Sounds fun but it’s a struggle.
The film turns into a cat and mouse chase over the course of it’s ninety minutes as we find out that the original Caine and Moore just might turn out to be the bad guys while our con men may yet turn out to be British heroes by the time the final credits roll. The film will stray into spies and assassins which puts our two aging actors on familiar ground.
Overall the gags are lame and poorly executed. There’s even some terrible double shots when stand ins are needed to have Caine confronting Caine or Moore vs. Moore. Michael Winner was by this time nearing the end of his career and the success of the Reed and Bronson films were long ago. Films like this make him an easy target for his naysayers. It’s all pretty amateurish in a film that he had a story credit on as well. The executive producer is Menahem Golan who led Cannon films for a time that brought Winner aboard for the second and third installment in the Death Wish series.
While Moore has turned up on occasion since his final go around as Bond in 1985 one could point to that film as his final film as a true leading man. Caine on the other hand continues to impress us with one “comeback” role after the other. For every dud he appeared in he seemed to find a gem along the way.
If you do come across this title there really is a good laugh to be had when the con men duo begin to go about the every day activities of there counterparts and Moore finds it to his liking while Caine is in for a rather rude surprise. As a collector of Caine films I guess it was about time I checked this one out. It’s no Get Carter but it’s a whole lot more watchable than Jaws The Revenge. Well, maybe just a wee bit. 🙂