This new spy series, involving an agent out in the thaw on the heels of the Cold War, depends on old-hat material from countless films and TV shows and on not-so-dazzling gadgetry — if you can’t lick ’em with ingenuity, hit ’em over the head with a cliche. However, delighted viewers will be young and guileless enough to think it’s all brand new, so “Fortune Hunter” is bound to be around for a while.
Mark Frankel plays slick, Bondish Carlton Dial, now working for a spy bunch called Intercept on assignments handed to him by Mrs. Brady (played with a wry touch by guest-starring Anne Francis).
She tells him he’ll be working with tech whiz Harry Flack (John Robert Hoffman), who’s armed with an all-seeing, all-hearing device attached to Dial. The gadget magically displays all Dial’s activities on a widescreen in the aerie of the watchful Flack, and allows the two to communicate instantly with one another. Dial chases after a fiendish device called Frostfire that dissolves folks. Opportunistic trillionaire Jackson Roddam (Chris Sarandon) is carrying this ultimate weapon around on his oil tanker off Tangiers. Dial’s competition for the terrible weapon is Danielle Fabian (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson), patriotic Russian spy who’s only trying to protect her country.
Drugged drinks, an evil villain, poker in evening clothes, dinner-jacketed fights, explosions, electronic machinery and familiar plotting add up to a spyorama lampoon — it’s strictly second-bill action, off-the-rack dialogue (including one crude intrusion), unimaginative direction and casual acting.
Frankel plays his superspy with studied nonchalance, and Hoffman suggests the ever-vigilant, gleeful Flack is nothing more than a voyeur. Francis, of course, is all pro. Wheeler-Nicholson plays her Russian straight, and Sarandon limns the villain with traditional cool.
If it’s supposed to be a satire, the writer better look the word up. Meanwhile, pass the bubble gum.