Film (1967). Twentieth Century Fox. Directed by Gordon Douglas. Written by Hal Fimberg. Starring James Coburn, Lee J Cobb, Andrew Duggan, Steve Ihnat, Jean Hale, Anna Lee, Hanna Landy, Totty Ames, Herb Edelman. 114 minutes. Colour.
This sequel to Our Man Flint (1966) takes its farcical secret agent further into sf territory, including a concluding Space Flight. A secret organization of beautiful women, using the Fabulous Face company as their front, has been brainwashing women with their hair driers and is planning to take over the world. They place two female cosmonauts on board America's newly launched space platform (> Space Stations) and replace America's President (Duggan) with an identical impostor. Secret agent Derek Flint (Coburn), assigned to investigate by his boss at Z.O.W.I.E., Lloyd C Cramden (Cobb), breaks into Z.O.W.I.E. headquarters and travels to Russia and the Virgin Islands, where the phony President and General Carter (Ihnat) have rebelled against the women and, on their own initiative, are about to launch nuclear bombs to arm the space platform, even though Flint notes that "nuclear energy" in space "as a threat" is "a totally discredited idea". Sneaking on board the space capsule piloted by Carter, Flint overcomes him, leaves the capsule, and flies over to the space platform to enjoy a romantic interlude with the cosmonauts, while the capsule is destroyed by missiles from Earth launched by the now-rescued President.
This generally silly adventure does take a serious turn when Flint blasts off in space; first, he and Carter calmly remain strapped in their seats during liftoff, recognizing that the strain of acceleration will necessarily delay their inevitable struggle; then, once in space, the two men attack each other while moving in slow motion, which is realistic but strangely undramatic, recalling a similarly languid struggle in the film Project Moonbase (1953). But once Carter is defeated, the film again becomes nonsensical, as Flint survives the destruction of the capsule by impossibly contriving to manoeuvre his way to the space platform solely by keeping an eye on his destination. [GW]
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