18 January 2003 | SanDiego
English slapstick comedy spy caper definitely a must for fans of that genre. Director Robert Stevenson (Mary Poppins, The Love Bug) dresses up the scenery with nice old British cars, trucks and storefronts (watch for one called THE RELUCTANT DRAGON a tip of the hat to an old Disney animated classic) and his usual trademark special effects which includes a neat little stunt where a group of men stand on each other's shoulders to see above a fog filled street. Fans of Agatha Christie movies will note Peter Ustinov (who played Hercule Poirot) and Helen Hayes and Joan Hickson (who both played Miss Marple). A final note regarding some ill-placed, ill-thought out comments about Peter Ustinov's performance that was meant to be broad comedy. Ustinov (an Englishman) also portrayed a Belgium (Hercule Poirot), a Russian, and a Frenchman in other films without any comments about their appropriateness. From Peter Sellers who played a wickedly unflattering portrayal of a Frenchman in the Pink Panther series to Ben Kingsley's stately performance as Ghandai to Jews playing Christians (sometimes unflattering) what the heck...it's called acting. If you don't like the performance that's one thing, but to call it racist then all these performances should be called racist and ALL performances that require an actor to play someone not himself would be on some level bigoted. Don't you think? To those who would call Ustinov's performance racist you are wrong and you should sue your parents and teachers for raising an idiot. By the way. I am Chinese. If I do a good Texan accent no one would think me a racist. If I do a bad Texan accent all it means is that I do a bad Texan accent. Yee Haw!