Cold War humour...

Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould reunited for this self-conscious attempt to recapture M*A*S*H’s countercultural cool, swapping actual war for Cold War to play hapless CIA spooks. Released at the height of Watergate, the film’s wryly cynical view of bungled covert ops couldn’t have been more topical, yet the exhaustingly manic tone swamps laughter and insight alike.

This needed Robert Altman’s nonchalance; instead, Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back) papers over thin material with distracting, fussy camerawork and some shrill overacting from his supporting cast. Only the stars, their laidback chemistry intact, emerge unscathed.

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