Bullet to Beijing [1996]

Poor cold war spy Harry Palmer. After 20 years in exile, he's been resurrected in a lackluster Showtime cable movie. Michael Caine, as brittle and droll as ever, is the main reason to see this fourth flick based on Len Deighton's hapless, and now forcibly retired, secret agent. Harry's been made redundant, and is none too happy about it. When a freelance job falls in his lap, he gratefully accepts the work. The assignment involves a Russian millionaire, nuclear weapons, nasty North Koreans, and a fairly exciting train ride. There are a few decent gags about the spy business, and Jason Connery (Sean's son) shows some merit, but the overly complicated plot is cliché and lacks finesse. If you want to see Caine at his finest, check out The Ipcress File, the first and most exciting of the Harry Palmer espionage thrillers. --Rochelle O'Gorman

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