Most helpful positive review
Flint, not Austin, puts the "Grrrr" in "Swinger", baby!
on July 23, 2002
At long, long last, the Derek Flint films are available on DVD for spy movie fans.
The transfer is okay, but there is no commentary or other extras to speak of (just a trailer). Hard to believe, as popular as Flint has always been, that Mr. Coburn and the other cast and crew members who are still with us could not be interviewed or asked to give commentary on the disc. A bit slipshod of Fox to let all that pass them by, and a bit of a disservice to fans of Flint. On the other hand, at least we now have Mr. Flint in glorious widescreen.
The spoof of the spy genre is right on the money; Flint is a swinger with the best Rat Pack sensibility. Flint is a master of martial arts, fine food, music, art, science, and, of course, women. Flint is an expert at everything under the sun, but is also perfectly modest, and admits he still has much to learn.
Probably the most interesting thing about this film is that the producers took it seriously enough to produce a very competent, lavish movie. You can see what I mean in the climax, as we are treated to a wonderful crane shot that follows Flint up a service ladder to a gangway where he fights a couple of bad guys. No one had to do this, and maybe having a spy climb a ladder was just part of the spoof of man-of-action characters, but it works nevertheless to build the tension as we see our hero in combat high above the concrete below. By "climbing" the ladder with him, we get a sense of the danger Flint is in, which makes him seem all the more a man-of-action.
Although meant to be a spy spoof, it competes with vintage Bond films very, very sucessfully. You can tell they spent some money, and were conscious of not only spoofing Bond, but of doing their own thing. In this way, Flint can meet a very George Latzenby-looking fellow secret agent (Triple-Oh-Eight), have almost miraculous spy gadgets, and battle villains in a spacious and exotic secret lair, while at the same time being full of original and stylish non-Bond elements.
The biggest flaw of the two Flint films is that there are not more of them. Pity. There should have been!