Last Run (2001)

Rating: C+

Dir: Anthony Hickox
Star: Armand Assante, Jürgen Prochnow, Ornella Muti, Alexsandra Vujcic

If the fall of the USSR posed problems for European film-makers, these are largely ignored here; despite a few nods to the new world order, this feels like the film that came in from the cold. Assante is former CIA extraction expert, Frank Banner, called back in service to put together a team and take a former head of the KGB (Prochnow) from Hungary to Germany. What should be a simple task nowadays, is made trickier because of enthusiastic interest – largely bullet-shaped – from the Russian Mafia, and also the CIA themselves.

This is an irritating mix of well-staged and seriously-flawed. The action is nicely handled, and Assante projects a sense of world-weariness, living in a universe that has little use for his talents any more. But there are too many unexplained characters hanging around, and a lot of the details are flawed: it appears that in Europe, no matter how long, noisy and bloody a gunfight, there’s never anyone else around, and no-one comes to investigate. The writers attempt to add depth to essentially a straightforward story, by tacking on a subplot about a Soviet sniper who killed Banner’s fiancee – this doesn’t work, and can safely be ignored. There’s still enough here to make an acceptable evening of landmark-spotting, for those who’ve travelled around Europe.