Picks and Pans Review: The Endless Game

updated 01/22/1990 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/22/1990 01:00AM

Showtime (Sun., Jan. 21, 8 P.M. ET)

B+

In this slow-starting espionage film Albert Finney, who coincidentally has also played Hercule Poirot (see box), stars as a British intelligence agent looking into the murder of his former lover. Flashbacks and unconnected occurrences make this story of double and triple cross very confusing and hard to follow at first.

A plot (reminiscent of The Spy Who Came In from the Cold) finally emerges, and it becomes apparent that Finney is giving an artful, muscular performance as a tough old operative whose wife thinks he's a mild-mannered wine merchant.

George Segal, Maggie Han's co-star and millstone in Murphy's Law, makes a wonderful villain. He's surprisingly scary without his usual veneer of cheesy charm. By the time Finney has defected to the Soviet Union, the story has become quite involving. If you can sit on your hands (and your remote control) through the opening, your persistence will be rewarded.

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