Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Arabesque (1996)

     Arabesque (1996) [D: Stanley Donen. Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren, Alan Badel] David Pollock, an Oxford professor of eastern studies (Peck), is roped into deciphering a mysterious Hittite inscription used as a cipher in an international game of oil diplomacy and assassination of the Prime Minister of an obscure oil-rich middle eastern country. Beshraavi, an evil business man (Badel), is behind it all. His mistress Yasmin (Loren) plays a double double-cross in an attempt to prevent the killing. Many plot tangles and spy caper cliches later, David and Yasmin end up in each other’s arms punting on the Thames. Splashy fade-out.
     Competent film making, fun to watch, typical of its era, with a huge variety of settings, a helicopter chase, well-acted bit parts, and fast enough narration to keep you interested. Peck and Loren work well together. This movie doesn’t attempt to be anything other what it is, well-made fantasy adventure romance. Above average for the genre. **½

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