The Fourth Protocol Reviews

  • Jul 25, 2018

    A good spy thriller can really hit the spot - but unfortunately, The Fourth Protocol, is really a by-the-numbers exercise in generic clichés that even Michael Caine can't salvage. Not that a straight genre film can't be fully enjoyable - they can be totally and explicitly formulaic and still great; however, this film is really just going through the motions. Apparently, author Frederick Forsyth and Caine were friends and dreamed up the idea of producing this version of his fifth spy novel (after successful films, without Caine, were made of his earlier books: The Day of the Jackal (1973), The Odessa File (1974), and The Dogs of War (1980)). I thought director John Mackenzie would be an added bonus, because his The Long Good Friday (1980) is so great (but alas, he never seemed to have directed anything else that good). Michael Caine is a British spy who is on the outs politically with his "acting" superior when he cottons on to a plan to smuggle an atomic bomb into the UK to blow up an American Air Force Base. Pierce Brosnan plays the undercover Russian spy doing the dirty deed. Of course, there is the usual political subterfuge going on in the background, which pulls the rug out from under the audience (sort of). However, all of this was done so much better in the awesome miniseries (adapted from John Le Carré), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979), starring Alec Guinness, and its sequel, Smiley's People (1982). Start there first and skip this one.

    A good spy thriller can really hit the spot - but unfortunately, The Fourth Protocol, is really a by-the-numbers exercise in generic clichés that even Michael Caine can't salvage. Not that a straight genre film can't be fully enjoyable - they can be totally and explicitly formulaic and still great; however, this film is really just going through the motions. Apparently, author Frederick Forsyth and Caine were friends and dreamed up the idea of producing this version of his fifth spy novel (after successful films, without Caine, were made of his earlier books: The Day of the Jackal (1973), The Odessa File (1974), and The Dogs of War (1980)). I thought director John Mackenzie would be an added bonus, because his The Long Good Friday (1980) is so great (but alas, he never seemed to have directed anything else that good). Michael Caine is a British spy who is on the outs politically with his "acting" superior when he cottons on to a plan to smuggle an atomic bomb into the UK to blow up an American Air Force Base. Pierce Brosnan plays the undercover Russian spy doing the dirty deed. Of course, there is the usual political subterfuge going on in the background, which pulls the rug out from under the audience (sort of). However, all of this was done so much better in the awesome miniseries (adapted from John Le Carré), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979), starring Alec Guinness, and its sequel, Smiley's People (1982). Start there first and skip this one.

  • May 03, 2018

    Slightly dated, but leaner than average spy action.

    Slightly dated, but leaner than average spy action.

  • Nov 06, 2016

    A mixed bag. The film provides evidence that Pierce Brosnan can act and Michael Caine is effective as usual. In fact the whole cast is pretty solid. There is some interesting technical stuff and tension is built up in a workmanlike fashion. Caine's outraged speech at the end just doesn't feel authentic and undoes some of the earlier good work. A great twist is that the Russian generals are American and don't hide their accents. Revenge perhaps for all those US films where the bad guys speak with British accents.

    A mixed bag. The film provides evidence that Pierce Brosnan can act and Michael Caine is effective as usual. In fact the whole cast is pretty solid. There is some interesting technical stuff and tension is built up in a workmanlike fashion. Caine's outraged speech at the end just doesn't feel authentic and undoes some of the earlier good work. A great twist is that the Russian generals are American and don't hide their accents. Revenge perhaps for all those US films where the bad guys speak with British accents.

  • Apr 08, 2015

    Intense spy thriller with Brosnan as the devilish heavy.

    Intense spy thriller with Brosnan as the devilish heavy.

  • Dec 03, 2014

    Pierce Brosnan as a Russian general. Please.

    Pierce Brosnan as a Russian general. Please.

  • Jun 30, 2014

    good action packed UK spy thriller

    good action packed UK spy thriller

  • Mar 22, 2014

    Ordinary Cold War spy thriller.

    Ordinary Cold War spy thriller.

  • Nov 25, 2013

    Pierce is right on and Killed it dude as KGB Agent and Killer Maj. Valeri Petrofsky.

    Pierce is right on and Killed it dude as KGB Agent and Killer Maj. Valeri Petrofsky.

  • May 09, 2013

    Pierce Brosnan always make the role of good or handsome guy but in this movie he shows different qualities wich plays well as a villian or for stronger characters, even here is more cold-blooded than "butterfly on a wheel". He should make more antagonist character like this.

    Pierce Brosnan always make the role of good or handsome guy but in this movie he shows different qualities wich plays well as a villian or for stronger characters, even here is more cold-blooded than "butterfly on a wheel". He should make more antagonist character like this.

  • Jan 20, 2013

    What elevates this cold war thriller above average are the performances by Caine and Brosnan who are both fantastic. It also has a good score, well made action and it has its entertaining moments.

    What elevates this cold war thriller above average are the performances by Caine and Brosnan who are both fantastic. It also has a good score, well made action and it has its entertaining moments.