North Sea Hijack/ffolkes (1979) 3.57/5 (2)


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Rating: The Good – 70.2
Genre: Action
Duration: 95 mins
Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Roger Moore, James Mason, Anthony Perkins

North Sea Hijack (also known as ffolkes) is a cracking good action yarn with Roger Moore in rare form as the antithetical Bond character, Rufus Excalibur ffolkes. ffolkes is a cat-loving, woman-hating, and all round eccentric anti-terrorist expert who is charged with eliminating a gang of hijackers who’re threatening to blow up a hugely expensive oil rig. This is a unique movie thanks mainly to the against type hero at the centre of it. It took guts to do it but the pay off is enormous as Moore is as entertaining as an action hero gets. Anthony Perkins is a worthy adversary in the form of the head hijacker and Michael Parks is his usual camera attracting self as his henchman. Even James Mason pops up as one of the crusty old generals who reluctantly goes along with Moore’s seemingly bizarre tactics.

Though ffolkes’ eccentricity ensures some of North Sea Hijack comes off as an action comedy, it’s primarily a straight-up thriller and, indeed, one of the very best to come out of the 80’s. Director Andrew V. McLaglen’s balances the two elements admirably and he builds the tension in a precise steady manner by switching between hijackers and good guys at regular and perfectly timed intervals. Moreover, his handling of the set pieces is superb with the finale in particular being of textbook construction. All in all, North Sea Hijack is what Saturday nights in front of the TV were designed for.

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