The first I came across Rob Lowe was in the pilot for The West Wing, which became my favourite series of all time, so when I saw this video in the bargain bin, I thought I’d check it out. I had never heard of the movie (1997) which is based on the novel by Jack Higgins, a book I had never read. So I was walking in blind. (FYI: there are two other completely different movies of the same name, which is why this is prefaced with “Jakc Higgins'”.)
The movie begins in a war zone somewhere in Eastern Europe and by the time we actually see Sean Dillon (Rob Lowe), he has already killed someone and is quickly being chased. The tension begins right away between himself and his unexpected rescuer. It seems that Dillon is a free lancer in the spy/information game, serving the highest bidder and usually working alone. In this case, he agrees to work for a British security agency. There are several plot lines, one succeeding another, the final one pitting Dillon against several other individuals and organizations seeking a secret document concerning Hong Kong, signed by Mao Tse-tung, and missing since 1944, and now thought to be somewhere in Scotland.
The cast is pretty good. Kenneth Cranham plays Brig. Charles Ferguson, Deborah Moore is Hannah Bernstein, and Daphne Cheung plays Su Yin, Dillon’s love interest. A lot of the action is quite good, although some of it stretched credulity too far (one enemy walked away from a scene that left many dead and the compound surrounded by police), and the plot itself seemed to move too slowly for me despite appropriate suspense music. It was an OK movie but I’m glad I didn’t pay much for it. * *