xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
"The Secret War of Harry Frigg" must have been made against its own will. I've seen lousy movies before, but never one that seemed ashamed of itself. At times the actors seem to be in pain, and the movie itself is down-at-the-mouth and desperately boring. It is doing great business.
There was a capacity crowd Saturday night, when I saw it, and there was even laughter at some of the worst stuff. I wondered whether the audience had seen a really funny movie recently; perhaps it didn't know what it was missing. But in a year that has already given us "The President's Analyst," "Bedazzled" (1968), and even "The Party," it is a terrible irony that "Harry Frigg" is considered a comedy.
I know nothing of the film's history, but from the evidence on the screen I would guess that Paul Newman and director Jack Smight got trapped in it against their better judgment. Smight is a bright young director, capable of making very good movies. The new Rod Steiger comedy, "No Way to Treat a Lady," is his, and he also did Paul Newman's "Harper."
Newman has been in a series of exceptionally good movies recently, notably "Hombre" and "Cool Hand Luke." For both Newman and Smight, "Harry Frigg" is a disaster, a step off the deep end, a departure from their recent level of work.