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Friday, January 5, 2018

Dimension 5 (1966)

Starring Jeffrey Hunter, France Nuyen, Harold Sakata, Donald Woods, Linda Ho
Directed by Franklin Adreon

A secret agent is tasked with defeating a Chinese plot to destroy Los Angeles with a hydrogen bomb, and is given a time travel device to aid him in his mission.

This spy thriller apes James Bond adventures, and features Sakata as the villain, who appeared in Goldfinger as an actual Bond adversary, but put out by low budget United Pictures, it suffers by comparison to the exploits of Ian Fleming's popular spy.  It is beautifully photographed, by cinematographer Alan Stensvold and Nuyen is a very attractive and smart foil for Hunter, but for an action-adventure it often bogs down in dialogue heavy scenes.  The time travel device is probably the most intriguing element in Arthur C. Pierce's screenplay, allowing Hunter and Nuyen to escape danger at the flick of a control switch, but not enough is done with it, nor are the time travel effects staged with much imagination, which I found disappointing.  Familiar characters actors like Robert Ito and Donald Woods were good to see, although there's a bit of a unfortunate clash between the actors playing Chinese characters who speak perfectly as opposed to those talking in pigeon English. Sakata's formidable hulking presence is memorably displayed, but I found it rather puzzling that his character was confined to a wheelchair, not allowing for a physical confrontation with Hunter at the climax, and he is clearly dubbed, according to IMDB, by voice actor extraordinaire Paul Frees.

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