The UK poster may have tried to sell it as a Bond movie and it may have been bizarrely originally intended as an R-rated film - the odd `F' word is noticeably dubbed out and Lea Brodie's gratuitous nudity hit the cutting room floor - but North Sea Hijack aka ffolkes aka Esther, Ruth and Jennifer is a more cosy than gritty. Roger Moore dressed like he's just stepped out of the pages of Where's Wally? is the unorthodox whisky drinking, cat-loving, woman-hating freelance navy commando with his own very, very small private army Rufus Excalibur ffolkes (with a small f) who does needlepoint to help him think ("I suppose you're one of those fellows who can do the Times crossword in ten minutes." "I have never taken ten minutes."). He may be little more than a collection of eccentricities, but when a group of criminals led by Anthony Perkins, playing ruthless like a Thunderbirds puppet who's somehow freed himself from his strings, hijack a supply ship and threaten to blow up a couple of oil rigs he's naturally the first choice of both the insurers and Faith Brooks' Prime Minister (a woman, much to ffolkes' disgust) to deal with them. After all, it's not as if the British have a Navy or the Special Boat Service to deal with that sort of thing even if a rather tired James Mason's admiral is along to represent the service and add a bit more star power to the marquee. The film alternates between the silly and the predictable and is a long, long way from Moore and director Andrew V. McLaglen's earlier The Wild Geese in the action stakes - there's not much in the way of suspense or action and the film's big explosion is an obvious but rather pretty studio tank model shot - yet while it's hard to recommend it's also somehow hard to dislike in its Sunday afternoon tea-and-crumpets by the fireside way. Best approached as an unpretentious and rather silly guilty pleasure and definitely a one-of-a-kind, it also has a rather good Michael J. Lewis score.
No extras and a terrible DVD sleeve but an acceptable 1.85:1 widescreen transfer.