A lacklustre action comedy that woefully fails to exploit the talents of its stars. When bungling safe-cracker Gus Cardinal (Lambert, miscast) and his eccentric accomplice Bruno (Lloyd) accidentally steal a cursed Turkish ruby known as the Byzantine Fire, much contrived capery ensues. The hapless pair are pursued by Turks, the CIA, the LAPD, and a bunch of deranged Armenians obsessed with preventing the rise of the Ottoman Empire. Based (very loosely) on a novel by Donald Westlake, this bears all the hallmarks of a straight-to-video production: functional script, limp direction, workaday performances and perfunctory stunt sequences, all played out amid the drab, tedious surroundings of Los Angeles. Lloyd attempts half-heartedly to enliven the proceedings with his characteristic blend of deadpan daftness, but it's a losing battle. Kim Greist is entirely wasted as the obligatory love interest. Less a case of why me than what for?
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Donald E Westlake, Leonard Maas Jr|
Michael J Pollard