Script [from the book The Square Circle by Daniel Carney] has a promising basic premise. An American TV station commissions mercenary John Haddad (Scott Glenn) to kidnap the nonagenarian Nazi leader Rudolf Hess from the impregnable Spandau prison in Berlin, but the follow-through never arrives. A routine car ambush is substituted for the impossible jailbreak. The liberated Hess just doesn’t want to play games with history by revealing the Watergate-style story supposedly underlying Hitler’s rise to power.
Despite these structural problems, film contains a wealth of incident. Haddad is the object of numerous assassination attempts organized by the German Heinrich Stroebling (Robert Freitag), who is in league with the Russians and Palestinian terrorists. The British are after Hess too. There’s also a supporting role for members of the Irish Republican Army and the kidnap of Yank journalist Kathy Lukas (Barbara Carrera) occasions a major shootout.
Edward Fox plays Colonel Faulkner with comic zest. Unintentionally, perhaps, Laurence Olivier also extracts laughs from his Hess cameo. By contrast, Glenn and Carrera take their parts more seriously than the script merits.