The Fourth Protocol is a decidedly contempo thriller, a tale of vying masterspies and a chase to head off a nuclear disaster. Its edge is a fine aura of realism.
Novelist Frederick Forsyth, who also was an executive producer, adapted the pic from his book.
The story is pretty straightforward. A ruthless KGB head plans to detonate a nuclear bomb close to a US airbase in England so the Brits blame the Yanks and the NATO alliance will collapse.
What follows is a good old-fashioned race against time as Caine tracks down his Russian alter ego Major Petrofsky (Pierce Brosnan) and after a hand-to-hand scuffle manages to defuse the bomb.
Michael Caine as a maverick counterespionage expert gives a thorough performance in a part that doesn’t really stretch his abilities.