I have to admit that I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this one very much. Two civil servants hire Jeff and Jeannie to infiltrate a top secret research base run by villain-of-the-week Derek Jacobi, with Dervla Kirwan as a femme fatale in charge of human resources, despite Jeff’s complete unsuitability in pretending he’s a top research chemist. There’s only so much talking-yer-way-outta-trouble that I can stand before the cringing takes over.
However, it ends beautifully. Gareth Roberts’ script is about the villain’s attempt to synthesize a very rare jungle plant that will hold back pain and even death, just so long as you keep dosing yourself with the drug. Otherwise the pain, or the death you’ve been cheating for a quarter century, is going to snap at you like a rubber band. So with that in mind, there’s a completely hilarious final fight where the dosed heroes and villains just clobber each other in an absurdly over-the-top brawl, and like that fellow in The World is Not Enough, nobody’s able to feel any pain…
My son and I were howling and were already sore from laughing and then, a night or two later, Jeff and Jeannie try to have a serious conversation about their relationship in a nice restaurant, forgetting that they’re going to feel all those punches when the drug wears off. And it wears off. And we about died. I wasn’t expecting a lot, but wow. I’m still chuckling.