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Action -Spies

The Fourth Protocol (1987)

Duration1h 38m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Sweden: 15
Source of storyFrederick Forsyth’s book of the same name.
DirectorJohn Mackenzie
Writers/ScriptGeroge Axelrod, Frederick Forsyth
StarringMichael Caine, Pierce Brosnan, Joanna Cassidy, Michael Gough, Ray McAnally, Ian Richardson, Anton Rogers, Ronald Pickup, Ned Beatty,
RatingsIMDb: 6.5/10 by 10,277 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 74% by 19 reviewers. Review2view: 6.5/10.

Summary: Petrofsky, a Russian spy, is sent on a mission to UK by the chief of the KGB, who leaves his two departmental generals, Borisov and Karpov, out of the loop. Meanwhile MI5 agent John Preston is present at the autopsy of a Russian seaman who had been run over. In the man’s possession  is a plutonium disc who Preston finds is part of the trigger mechanism for an atomic bomb. He voices his fears to the acting head of MI5, but is suspended and only the intervention of another official, Sir Nigel Irvine, saves him. A KGB bomb expert Irina Vassilievna arrives to help Petrofsky assemble the bomb which is intended to go off next to a US airbase. Each has plans to kill the other. Meanwhile another Russian spy arrives and is tracked to Petrofsky by Preston, but will he be in time to prevent the holocaust.

Content: Petrovsky and  Vassilievna have sex, and there is an extended view of Vassilievna’s left breast. Preston raids the house of a British diplomat and finds secret papers. The diplomat is turned by the secret service. The Russian KGB generals meet and discuss what their boss might be up to. Petrofsky takes up residence next to the airfield. Preston has antagonistic meetings with his temporary boss. There are stake outs and one car chase. Petrovsky is located and downed by armed police. There is a twist.

A View: The whole tone of this outing is that of a Len Deighton novel, even down to the absent head of MI5. And the view is strengthened of course by the presence of Michael Caine as a slightly older and not quite so cynical Harry Palmer. In reality Sir Michael is not given quite enough to do, so we are slightly disappointed to see him just standing on the side-lines for much of the time. But all in all not a bad way of passing an hour and a half, particularly for nothing, and if you have read this review you can be getting on with your knitting.

A lot of Michael Caine films have been reviewed on this site. Some of the ones you maybe be less familiar with include Harry Brown, Get Carter (Not the Sly Stallone one) and one of my favourite films ever The Man Who Would be King.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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