Our Man Flint Reviews
James Coburn obviously loved the chance at playing the cooler-than-cool (ice cold) uberman, Derek Flint, and its in his relishing the part that the most fun is had here. Lotsa hot babes (mainly as background eye candy) and imaginary gadgets (that still haven't been invented) abound. Its so good ... that it could count as a Bond film (sorry Cubby).
Our Man Flint is an essential entry in the genre of parody, and actually manages to stand on its own without knowledge of what it is trying to parody in a way that the more recent (and less sophisticated) Austin Powers has managed to do. Yet where Austin Powers is slapstick hilarity, Our Man Flint is buffoonishly mock-serious.... a parody style that fits the spy-film genre far more comfortably and more satisfyingly... and has aged remarkably well for a highly topical parody.
Derek Flint is actually quite a selfish, arrogant man. He refuses to help save the world until his former boss literally comes and begs him. And even then, once he tracks down the "villains" and goes about dismantling their fortress, he's far more concerned with saving his harem of girls than the mission.
And who are the villains in this film? A trio of brilliant scientists who have actually discovered a way to end world hunger, to turn wastelands into fertile gardens, to control the weather so that people no longer live in fear of typhoons and droughts. And what do they want in return? World peace! That's all. They demand that the nations of the world do away with their nuclear weapons, demobilize their armies, all so that the world may be finally be Utopia.
So Flint -- our hero -- is sent to kill and destroy these scientists!
When I was a kid I didn't pick up on this, but as an adult this is what makes me love this movie. It's deliciously subversive, and, a helluva lotta fun!
Where it really misses the mark is found in the absence of anything resembling compelling and over the top villainy. One would think in a parody that there would be highly exaggerated characters seeking to control the world with their weather machine. Instead we get a few limp scientists in lab coats and an enforcer type that would better suit serving dainties at a garden party.
The staged fight between Flint and .0008 is the high point, and it last for a couple minutes. There are some happening babes in go go fashion around to look at, which saves it from being an utter bore.