Otley seeks to break away from over-done Ian Fleming-like spy tales [of the period]. It focuses on exploits of bumbling ‘everyman type’ thrust into the espionage game.
Storyline is pegged around Tom Courtenay unfortuitously present at an acquaintance’s London flat, when the latter is bumped off. It soon evolves that the recently deceased was a defector from a gang of state-secret smugglers, and now all parties concerned think that Courtenay somehow knew as much as his late friend.
Because of this, he is first kidnapped and beaten up by Romy Schneider and her cohorts, then after bumbling his way out of their clutches, he is caught by the opposing side and bounced about by them.
In seeking to avoid overheroics as well as the pitfalls of parody, the film has an uneasy lack of a point of view and fails to focus viewer’s attention on any particular character or plotline philosophy.