Ace action director John MacKenzie (THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY) takes a respectable stab at bringing Desmond Lowden's thrill-ride of a novel, Boudapesti 3, to the screen, but too much of the excitement takes place at the story's periphery.
American Justice-Department compliance officer Martin Rakes (Michael Keaton) receives a curious e-mail that sends up a red flag about the European Lumiere Group. Hoping to nail two birds in one trip, Martin decides to investigate money-laundering in France and then visit his ex-wife and daughter, Emma (Clare Thomas), in England. The Lumiere Group's holdings include Maritime Studios, whose CFO, Leila Forin (Judith Godreche), gives Martin a warm welcome. According to Leila, the Riviera-based studio is now shooting a comeback vehicle for has-been star Jake Mellows (Michael Caine). What Martin doesn't know is that Leila is the pawn of Russian mobster Oleg Butraskaya (Rade Sherbedgia), who has threatened her father’s safety; Oleg simply can’t allow a glorified bank examiner like Martin to uncover the truth about the shadow film company, a front for drugs, pornography and prostitution. When corrupt police chief Pillon (Jean-Pierre Castaldi) gets greedy, Oleg assassinates him and sets up Martin as
the fall guy. In an unfortunate turn of events for Martin, Pillon’s successor turns out to be as crooked as his predecessor. With Leila’s reluctant help, the now-fugitive Martin uncovers a multitude of criminal enterprises laundered through the fictitious movie studio. When Jake learns there’s no film in the camera, he joins Martin’s crusade to topple Oleg’s crime empire. As Martin’s co-
workers in America race to clear him of murder and embezzlement charges, Oleg ups the ante by kidnapping Emma. Movie-making special effects may be the only thing that can tip the odds in Martin's favor.
Everyone involved was clearly enamored of Alfred Hitchcock’s NORTH BY NORTHWEST, and while this wrong-man thriller lacks the daredevil technique of its role model, slick performances make it watchable.
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- Released: 2002
- Rating: R
- Review: Ace action director John MacKenzie (THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY) takes a respectable stab at bringing Desmond Lowden's thrill-ride of a novel, Boudapesti 3, to the screen, but too much of the excitement takes place at the story's periphery. American Justice-De… (more)