Young TV star Richard Grieco barely survives silly first film vehicle If Looks Could Kill, which spoofs the James Bond formula in tiresome fashion. One-joke script, based on Fred Dekker’s story, runs out of gas before the halfway mark.
Grieco plays a high school student who’s headed for France with his French teacher (Robin Bartlett) and class. Coincidentally, a CIA spy with same name is booked on the same plane, and rest of the film stems from both villains and good guy spooks mistaking young Grieco for a secret agent.
Nominal plot has Roger Rees as the megalomaniac chairman of the European Economic Community who plans to take over Europe and issue gold coinage bearing his own likeness.
Grieco puts up with the silliness, including being clad only in his underpants during a lengthy segment opposite femme fatale Carole Davis. Linda Hunt has only intermittent success with the comic-strip role of Rees’ chief enforcer, a bullwhip-wielding heavy named Ilsa Grunt. Heroine Gabrielle Anwar as the vengeful daughter of Britain’s late great top spy (played in a miscast, no-impact cameo by Roger Daltrey) looks too young on screen. Best role goes to Bartlett.