HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
   
 
Newest Articles
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
   
 
  Jigsaw Man, The The Spy With Mike's Face
Year: 1984
Director: Terence Young
Stars: Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, Susan George, Robert Powell, Charles Gray, Morteza Kazerouni, Michael Medwin, Eric Sevareid, Sabine Sun, David Kelly, Patrick Dawson, Vladek Sheybal, Peter Burton, Anthony Dawson, Jennifer Jayne
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 2 votes)
Review: Philip Kimberley (Michael Caine) was a British defector about the time of Guy Burgess or Kim Philby, and now he has been stuck in the Soviet Union for all these decades he is yearning to return back across the Iron Curtain to the place of his birth, in the United Kingdom. The trouble is, as he has been told, the only way that would happen would be if the authorities allowed him there as an agent for them, and if he was identified by the British he would surely be put behind bars for a very long time. However, the Soviets have thought up a solution: give him cosmetic surgery to look twenty years younger and like a completely different person, then a physical workout to tone him up, then set him loose on the West...

You should be aware the Kimberley character spent the first five minutes played, pre-surgery, by a different actor to Caine, but dubbed with the star's voice, which was in no way offputting, heavens no. When the throat-clearing training montage begins that makes the ones in the Rocky franchise look like the blokes in Olivia Newton-John's Physical video, you knew this was going to be bad, though quite how bad you may not have been prepared for considering the apparent calibre of the cast. This was a production beset with problems, the major one being the budget running out halfway through whereupon it was completed some time later with a bunch of half-arsed filler and exposition material that did presumed disservice to the author of the novel - who uncoincidentally was the wife of the director, Terence Young.

Not the most healthy way for any movie to be made, and with these professionals an ignominious fate for one of the spate of Cold War thrillers and dramas released in the West; while the United States would go about these with all guns blazing more often than not, the British example in apparent reaction to the James Bond series (which Young was closely involved with) took their cue from the small screen success of the John Le Carré adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy starring Alec Guinness in effectively his swan song (which when it was remade for the movies to some success failed to spawn many imitators of its own). Thus inspired, they would all be very low key and earnest until the violence took place.

Sometimes this succeeded very well, as in Defence of the Realm or on television Edge of Darkness for example, but quite a lot of the time you would end up with some impoverished attempt of the sort Caine showed up in, doing his bit for his country in mediocre fare like The Fourth Protocol or The Whistle Blower. Maybe Sir Michael was actually in the pay of the Soviets? Sporting a moustache as egregious as his accent, his character was based on Kim Philby you'd think, but Philby existed in the universe of the film, so what did people think when someone with a suspiciously similar name absconded from MI6? Would the authorities be on the lookout for Phim Kilby, Philberly Kimby or Killip Phimberly too?

Anyway, never mind that because not only was Caine letting himself down, but his old Sleuth co-star was too, with Sir Laurence Olivier the spymaster coming across more as if channelling the spirit of Wilfrid Brambell in a very odd performance, shouting and grimacing in a most unseemly manner. Also along to embarrass themselves were a perpetually perplexed Susan George as Caine's estranged daughter, Robert Powell as an officer propositioned by a bald-wigged Charles Gray as his superior who described himself as looking like a great, big prick, and Michael Medwin getting yelled at. Also, the animals of Windsor Safari Park for no good reason as this stumbles confusedly towards a denouement which saw a karate-d up Kimberley murder an innocent publican in cold blood yet remained the supposed good guy. Powell took off on a motorcycle in one scene: Christ on a bike. Plinky plonky synths by John Cameron.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2073 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: