The third movie about Steve Austin is a lot closer, in content and tone, to the long-running television series that followed.
Movie #1 is a serious affair. It's great. A classic. Movie #2 is a desperate attempt to rip-off the Bond movies and it falls flat. But this time out, Steve's womanizing antics (and tendency to have a quip for every occasion) have been toned down and the story is structured more like a typical SMDM episode, where Oscar gives Steve a difficult mission because nobody else could accomplish it. Also, the fact that Steve is partnered someone who has 'powers' of some sort is an element found in several episodes from the series.
The movie opens with Steve on a successful rescue mission. Someone important has been cancelled. Steve gets them back, but does not capture the bad guys. We can see, however, that these bad guys are a vast organisation and, before long, they have added another victim to their kidnap list. Someone who was under the personal care of Oscar Goldman.
The script goes into great detail with all of this. And it makes for good viewing. It doesn't slow things down at all, in fact the pace is very fast.
Steve is soon on the case. One of the evil henchmen died in the kidnapping (there's a nice bit of storytelling to all of this, also) and Oscar and Rudy have found a scientist who has been working on a way to take memories from dead people. It's an imprefect science but she's volunteers to help. She's putting her life at risk, and this later comes back to haunt her, a plot development that allows us to see the colder side of Oscar Goldman.
So Steve and the woman (the wonderful Elizabeth Ashley) travel around Europe on the trail of the kidnappers, while Terry Carter gets a subplot which shows how he moves the ransom to the designated drop-off point.
John Vernon and Maurice Evans get some great scenes, and Leif Erickson is typically great as the victim.
All in all a very enjoyable movie.
And a rare one, too. Most DVD releases of this material are of an incorrect version. Thanks to a DVD boxset called El Hombre Nuclear I was able to see the real deal, not some stupid botched re-edit.
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