January 22nd, 2003 | Published in Uncategorized
Richard Burton stars in this Cold War spy thriller, which was crafted as a deliberate anti-007 film in the same way the novel upon which it was based was both pitched and executed as a “realistic” spy story. The settings are, indeed, dreary, and the action is primarily cerebral. Much has been made of what a demanding movie it is, but it’s not hard to keep up… there’s even more explication than in the novel, which is simple enough on its own.
This movie is the parent of the likes of Ronin (1998) and even the awful, guilty pleasure of Assassins (1995) (written by the Wachowski Brothers), conceiving of a world of spycraft bereft of glamor and full of moral ambiguity and betrayal.