Thunder Point (1998)

A lost Nazi secret is found – and everyone wants it. Well, duh. Enter Sean Dillon, IRA enforcer turned British 51QLO29a1wL._SY300_ secret agent, as created by veteran thriller writer Jack Higgins.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

This review was written 17 years too late

Jack Higgins has spent best past of a lifetime churning out a thriller a year, and good luck to him for doing so. After a decade of doing this, he hit literary pay dirt with “The Eagle Has Landed” back in the 70s, which was swiftly filmed with Michael Caine. Films of his other books have been sporadic. Mickey Rourke hammed it up as a guilt-ridden IRA gunman in the “A Prayer for the Dying” (1987), while in 1972 his “The Wrath of God” saw Robert Mitchum and Rita Hayworth up to revolutionary mischief in 1920s South America. More adaptations have been made as TV movies, and it is this dread category that “Thunder Point” falls into.

Made-for-TV usually means a pilot or a mini-series (remember them?). “Thunder Point” is a bit different in that it is not particularly TV friendly, with its mild violence, a spattering of bad language and sufficient T&A to keep the pervs happy. It features Kyle MacLachlan as Higgin’s literary hero of the past 20 odd years, Sean Dillon. Reformed terrorist, he now somewhat unlikely helps a discreet branch of the British government sort out unpleasant messes.

The mess in this case is the discovery of Hitler’s plans for a Fourth Reich, despatched from the Führerbunker just before his suicide then lost on a submarine. When an explorer finds them decades later, he entrusts them to his daughter, but the bad guys come after her. Enter Sean Dillon.

It’s pretty poor stuff, made on the cheap by moving the book’s Caribbean location to low-overhead Canada. MacLachlan does not attempt an Irish accent, which is a relief, while the rest of the cast are unremarkable except for dear old Kenneth Welsh (MacLachlan’s “Twin Peaks” alumni) doing his usual evil boss thing.

MacLachlan had played Dillon once before in 1996’s “Windsor Protocol” and shared the role with Rob Lowe who was Dillon twice as well, in “On Dangerous Ground” (also 1996), and “Midnight Man” a year later. I don’t know if any of these are connected and I couldn’t give a toss either after sitting through this turgid mess.

Watch the trailer, just for the line, “I’m not here about your toilet.”

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