Running Delilah

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“Cast better than the material, in female version of Robocop.”

Agent Delilah (Cattrall) is undercover investigating arms dealer Alec Kasharian (Voyagis), and his connection to Palestinian terrorists [this was 1993, when people were concerned about such things]. At the behest of her handler Paul (Zane), she copies a floppy-disk containing vital information [I repeat, this was 1993, when an entire arms dealer’s business would apparently fit on a floppy!], but she’s discovered, shot multiple times, and left for dead. Paul drags her Swiss cheese-like body back to a secret government lab, where she is repaired, upgraded and generally enhanced in terms of speed, power and other abilities.

Initially, this is the subject of some emotional trauma, as she is understandably shocked to discover a Terminator arm where her own used to be. So she breaks out, roaming the streets, and proving to be a nasty surprise for sleazy low-lives. Though her creators probably need to work on the insulation thing, since her arm seems to short-circuit in the rain. That’s government work for you. Naturally, she eventually gets her act together, and the agency boss (Rigg) sends her and Paul out, to bring Kasharian to the justice he so richly deserves. This being a TV movie – or perhaps a pilot, it’s not clear – there are no prizes for guessing how this pans out.

And that’s the problem. No prizes, no surprises either, and precious little in the way of invention or inspired execution that could lift this up above the humdrum, with director Franklin (best known for Psycho II) unable to add enough impetus to proceedings. The only thing that redeems this are the decent performances from the leads, who manage to give this more impact than the material deserves – it was particularly cool to see Rigg, who played one of the prototypical action heroines. Emma Peel, in the mid-60’s. Any scenes that are memorable, such as Delilah shattering all the windows in a hotel, make absolutely no sense, and the parts that make sense, aren’t exactly memorable.

Dir: Richard Franklin
Star: Kim Cattrall, Billy Zane, Yorgo Voyagis, Diana Rigg

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