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Year of release: 1967
After the success of Dr. No, there was a dearth of Ian Fleming/James Bond clones produced in all corners of the world, and Hong Kong was certainly no exception. Interpol is another in the long list of Bond wannabes that manage to create an entertaining picture, but yet it's still nothing extraordinary, and somehow feels more than a bit hollow. However, despite its' problems, Interpol will still satisfy fans of 60's spy flicks.
The plot here is pretty simple. An Interpol agent is killed in Hong Kong, so the organization calls in its' top agent, who is code-named (wait for it) 009. 009 (played by Tang Ching) heads to Hong Kong, picks up his mandatory cowardly/comedic sidekick (a pickpocket played by Sam Yi), and soon discovers a conspiracy by a crime conglomerate (led by Margaret Tu Chuan) using legitimate businesses as a front to create and transport counterfeit money. So the story isn't exactly the deepest thing going, but really, it's just an excuse to get to the next action or love scene.
Interpol's main problem, though, is that the action and love scenes aren't all that exciting. I realize that this film was made almost forty years ago, and the Shaw Brothers were never really known for lavishing large budgets on their movies, but the matters here just feel half-hearted. Sure, 009 has some gadgets, but it's boring stuff like "magic" gum that unlocks doors. And there's certainly some good-looking women on display here, but the sex scenes are so chaste, that when a couple of bare bottoms are shown near the end of the picture, it feels almost X-rated. On the surface, Interpol has all of the elements of a good Bond "homage" (there's even an extended casino/gambling scene), but the film-makers never seem to be able to pull of the elements together.
Still, as someone who is a fan of this genre, I will admit there is a nice bit of style which helps elevate Interpol into something at least a little more enjoyable than many of the Bond copycats that came out during this period. Being someone that is a fan of "red-blooded" action flicks, it's nice to see something once in a while that's not concerned with political correctness in any way. Interpol puffs cigarettes like their smoke was full of vitamins, chugs brandy like it was Gatorade, and jumps into more beds than a Sealy Posturepedic salesman. It might not be a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but Interpol's unabashed immersion into the 60's mindset makes it a worthy diversion for viewers who are growing tired of the growing number of over-glamorized spy "thrillers" being churned out nowadays.