Our Man Flint (1966)
Reviewed on 2010 March 2
Very witty spy spoof from the ’60s, with its tongue wedged too firmly in its cheek for even an extra dry martini.
We start with footage that’s the stuff of Al Gore’s nightmares: glaciers are crumbling. Oceans are rising. Temperatures are soaring. The members of Zonal Organization World Intelligence Espionage, or Z.O.W.I.E., know some group is doing this deliberately but are at a loss as to who can put a stop to it. When the team decides to send super agent Derek Flint (James Coburn), head honcho Cramden (Lee J. Cobb) balks. He claims Flint is too much of a maverick to successfully complete this mission for Z.O.W.I.E., but the situation is so dire the President himself intervenes, insisting on Flint. Maverick or not, there is no other choice. Flint could whip James Bond and lives a life that makes the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World look like a Gamma Male. A group of mad scientists messing with the weather should be no match for him.
It’s a silly plot, and the movie doesn’t just own up to it, it basks in it with pride. I thought this was much funnier that the Matt Helm stuff, which I couldn’t even get into. Besides the general silliness, we have swingin’ music, vivid set design, and of course, James Coburn. There’s also eye candy for everyone. Yes, the guys have zillions of ’60s glamazons in vivid dresses and bikinis to admire, but women have Coburn and his smile. I think we got the better part of the bargain.
Three chocolate morsels.