20 July 2017 | bensonmum2
Agent Michael London (Gene Barry) poses as an art dealer so he can make regular trips between Paris and Istanbul. His latest mission is to enter an auction in Istanbul for some very desirable top secret scientific papers. There is a lot of interest from "the other side" concerning these papers. These enemy agents will stop at nothing to prevent London from getting the papers.
Overall, Istanbul Express is a fairly bland, milk-toast sort of spy film. Once I saw the name Mary Ann Mobley in the credits, I knew this wasn't going to be a very wild ride. If I'm not mistaken, Istanbul Express was originally a TV production - and it shows. It doesn't have any of the memorable fight scenes, big set-pieces, or over-the- top action you find in a theatrical release. The film's star, Gene Barry, is a fine actor, but even he is "safe". About the wildest thing Barry does is throw down a few drinks. Slow down there, dude - let's not get too crazy.
So far, I've made Istanbul Express sound somewhere between boring and a dog. Honestly, though, it's not all bad. The location shots were nice and a bit unexpected. You normally don't see actual location shooting like this on a television production. Another plus was Senta Berger in a very small, but pivotal, role. She's another of those actors who automatically make a movie better simply because they're in it. Finally, there is a really clever twist at the end during the auction scene that was quite well worked. It alone saved Istanbul Express from being below average.
In summary, Istanbul Express is a fairly harmless, mildly entertaining film that too often plays it safe. There is a nice twist at the end that saves it from being horrible. Like the movie, I'll rate it a milk-toast sort of 5/10.