Beginnings: The String

PERMISSION TO KILL sounds like a totally mediocre spy film and as far as I can tell that’s what it is. But as it’s going to be the latest in my occasional series of movies I only watch partway and then blog about, who knows? I can’t condemn it sight unseen. Only the title seems definitively poor.

License to Wear Clothes

The movie begins with spymaster Dirk Bogarde putting together a string of agents to perform some kind of international espionage caper. He chitchats with a naked Nicole Calfan, which is somewhat enjoyable but lacks the sexual tension it might have had if this were someone other than Dirk, who is playing it very arch indeed, and then he picks up Frederic Forrest in an art gallery, and then ~

Each agent-to-be has been introduced with a b&w slideshow image. The third is an eight-year-old French boy. Now, frankly, I’m quite happy to go through life not knowing what role he’s going to play in this caper. Maybe he has a CGI avatar who’s a ninja. Maybe he’s just good for boosting through transoms. I prefer to imagine alternatives than to be saddled with what seems likely to be a disappointing but definitive answer.

The film may be shot by Freddie Young (and it definitely is, this time) and directed by the sometimes-perfectly-competent Cy Frankel, but once you get a LeCarre-esque dour espionage drama hinting at SPY KIDS hi-jinks, it’s time to bail, and fantasise the different stupid or surprising or creepy developments that could follow.

5 Responses to “Beginnings: The String”

  1. Grant Skene Says:

    (The former GSPegger)

    “Here are my credentials, madam.”

    [Mirrored close-up of ‘Lady parts’]

    “And, here are my credentials.”

  2. “They appear to be, ah, in order…”

  3. All I could think of was humorless Sgt. Joe Friday on “Dragnet”:

    “Frisking won’t be necessary, Ma’am, but your willingness to cooperate with law enforcement is refreshing. Now, can you direct me to the owner of the illegally parked Chevrolet in front of the building?”

  4. Also, the best naked interview in my memory is Irene Adler on “Sherlock”.

  5. Which they got a lot of stick for. When did gratuitous titillation become a bad thing? It was wittier than this one.

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