(out of 5)
A guilty pleasure if ever there was one, made bearable by the presence of a former 007 and a later Bond’s female co-star. Pierce Brosnan plays a retired C.I.A. agent who got out of the game following the tragedy displayed in the film’s pre-title sequence. Now pulled back in when he is informed that a former contact is in need of his protection, Brosnan goes to Moscow to safely evacuate an informant close to a shady Russian politician, but when the operation ends up in a bloodbath, he finds himself fighting his own team in order to get to the bottom of a very ugly conspiracy. Mirroring him is a former protégé (Luke Bracey) who is trying to hunt Brosnan down for personal reasons, and at his side is a Belgrade social worker (Olga Kurylenko) who has information that makes her a prime target for all sides. The political intrigue in the plot, when compared to something like that of a John Le Carre movie, is about as detailed and realistic as Carmen Sandiego, and some of the performances are hilariously bad (Bracey is particularly wooden, so much so that it is awe-inspiring to behold), and yet there is great pleasure in watching the silliness play out to the hopelessly satisfying conclusion. The action sequences are pulled off with finesse, even if it is nearly impossible to believe that Brosnan can get up quickly from a couch let alone pull off some of the maneuvers he is expecting us to buy here, and Kurylenko brings more than just her stunning beauty to a part that lets her have some moments of quiet depth as well. You’ll hate yourself in the morning, but life is short, go for it anyway.
Directed by Roger Donaldson
Cinematography by Romain Lacourbas
Music by Marco Beltrami
Production Design by Kevin Kavanaugh
Costume Design by Bojana Nikitovic
Film Editing by John Gilbert