Adapted from a novel by Robert Ludlum, Peckinpah’s final film is a delirious conspiracy thriller set in a world of Cold War paranoia and omnipresent surveillance. The labyrinthine plot involves a television journalist (Rutger Hauer) who is recruited by a CIA agent (John Hurt) to ensnare three of his friends—believed to be KGB spies—during a weekend getaway. Flashes of Peckinpah’s stylistic pyrotechnics—an electrifying car chase edited with whiz-bang bravura, a bullet-riddled nighttime shootout around a flaming swimming pool—light up this wild thrill ride, which is also a prescient look at the rise of surveillance culture. Screens within screens abound, trapping the characters in a web of CCTV cameras and heightening the pervasive sense of disorientation.
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