29 December 2011 | Rodrigo_Amaro
Not bad but almost getting there
A good film, indeed, but not so much of an exciting experience to watch it and those who know Frederick Forsyth's works as novelist are highly familiar on how gripping and thrilling his characters and situations are. But the thing that disappointed me the most is that Forsyth wrote the film script and what I saw wasn't so interesting to make me feel great about it.
Well, the story isn't news, again we have a plot where Soviets want to destroy the Capitalist/American system, this time the target is an American base in England. Now, the British intelligence has to find the terrorist before something bad happens. The villain, however, is one man and one man only, a deadly KGB spy (Pierce Brosnan) who has the mission of exploding an atomic bomb on a American military base. The man on his track is the charming agent John Preston (Michael Caine, very good), who has to fight the bureaucracy of his boss (Julian Glover) to finally solve this situation.
The problem I had with the film is the awfully number of characters and tiny little situations where I couldn't understand clearly what was happening, some of the characters motivations as well wasn't good presented. The lack of some great action sequences also bothered me a little, but the ones developed were very interesting (the scene where Michael Caine jumps out of the car, then runs to a moving train; and Barry's crazy chase with the van almost hitting the people).
The cat and mouse game of "The Day of the Jackal" is inexistent here except for the final moments (here's a writer making a copy of himself. The whole situation is so similar that is beyond belief). The appeal of "The Fourth Protocol" lies in the incredible cast assembled that not only includes Brosnan and Caine but also Ned Beatty, Ray McAnally, Joanna Cassidy (quite effective as Brosnan partner), Michael Gough and others.It's not a case of great performances but all of them have decent parts to play with.
Surprisingly strange is the fact of a great director like John Mackenzie, specialist in creating thrilling moments in films like "Deadly Voyage" and "Infiltrator" (both TV movies) seemed a little lost with this script since it's hard to feel some thrill with everything presented (except when Pierce is killing his victims, he's a real stone cold kind of a guy). If the drama is quite hard to follow, the suspense only works for limited moments. But seeing the general picture as a whole you still can have a decent movie, with some good surprises. To me, one random moment that marked me in this film is when Michael Caine beats two racist punks on the subway, that was really awesome. I don't know why it's really in the film but it's a great moment to be seen.
It could've been special but it also could've been way worst, just one step in false and this could be a reunion of wasted talents. Gladly, this didn't happened. Fans of Cold War flicks will enjoy it but be prepared for lots of confusing things. 6/10