I was in middle school when this movie came out. It was 1981 and I had saved up my pocket money to pay for the bus ride into the city and the admission for a matinee to a movie that seemed so exciting and lively to me.
I had read the book 'The Game of X' by Robert Sheckley as well as the adaptation of the movie and imagined every scene in my head as I had gone through it. The movie was everything a young boy could have hoped for - a rollicking, comedic adventure with a very beautiful female Russian agent (Carrera) and a sinister KGB chief (played by Oliver Reed).
The only problem I have with this movie is the miscasting of Michael Crawford as Woody Wilkins, the cartoonist who helps out a friend of his at the CIA office in Paris. Englishman Crawford puts on the most exaggerated American accent imagineable, although admittedly he has the brilliant comedic timing necessary to pull off this role.
The CIA in France has a problem. They need a civilian to act as a courier to Istanbul. Of course Woody gets the job, but right from the start it's obvious he is taking his role just a little too seriously. By the time he arrives to meet his KGB contact in Turkey he has fully assumed the role of his cartoon creation - top CIA agent and superhero Condorman.
Barbara Carrera (who two years later would get to play a Bond girl - the very movies this one attempts to lampoon) plays KGB agent Natalia. Later, when she makes the decision to defect, the impressive Condorman comes to mind as the only CIA agent she will trust to handle her defection.
The only problem is the CIA does not have an agent with the codename Condorman.
What follows is an adventure filled race across Europe with enough gadgets to fill several Bond movies. There is some great car chases (performed by legendary French stunt driver Remy Julienne and his 16-man crew of drivers and mechanics), boat chases and along the way Crawford sports some of the most outrageous disguises in cinema history. It's all great fun and it's executed perfectly.
For high flying escapist entertainment they don't come much more downright enjoyable than this.
Recommended for all dreamers.