“Looks like no one in your family is a rank amateur.”
In the world of MST3K, there is one genre that always delivers more than expected: Spy Movies. My taste in spy movies generally tends towards Derek Flint not James Bond. Maybe I should not be surprised that I love the riffs the SOL can put down on these films. So much of the spy genre is perfect for riffing and parody, it is an undervalued player on the MST3K.
Gadgets, babes and elaborate plans complete with double and triple crosses, this is a by the books genre film. The theft of the ‘atomic nucleus’ is so over the top that anything is believable in this world. The worst part of this movie is not Neil Connery, but the fact they keep reminding you that Neil Connery is in this movie and his brother is you know who. The movie is just dripping with Bond movie vets (including M and Moneypenny) who keep talking about Dr. Connery’s brother. Yes, we get it.
And that is a shame. Take away the ‘real’ connection and make it a non-Connery in the lead, and this is a solid spy film. Yes it gets silly. Yes the girl sailors are something else. But it isn’t any sillier than a dozen other eurospy films I’ve seen.
Neil’s abilities aren’t traditional superspy talents, but with the team around him, they turn out to be effective. And I say his ability to get a bunch of blind men to revolt at a factory with, what, two or three sentences is his greatest power.
I never understood the whole get our missing agent’s brother/kid/sister/etc. plot device, I suppose this film should get credit for really committing to the bit.
The bits cut for the SOL didn’t really take too much away. The kidnapping of Yashuko takes a little longer, there is a bit more about the THANATOS plot and Beta’s own plans. We also spend a couple minutes more with Maya and Mildred, but nothing too important. The killing of Alpha of THANATOS was a nifty scene that had some good quipping, I wish it had made the SOL cut.
The blue archers are friends of the Neil. The whole operation is an amateur operation.
Watchability: 3 of 5. It may never be my first choice when it comes to the eurospy genre, but I can see watching it again. It is over the top in many places with all the things that make the genre. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the movie stood up.
Missing the Riffs: 3 of 5. While I prefer the SOL version, it is pretty close.