The Ambushers (1967)

Rating: **
Review Date: 4/9/17
Cast: Dean Martin, Senta Berger, Janice Rule, James Gregory, Beverly Adams

"I can't wait to get you south of the border."

Matt Helm's adventures just keep getting worse. This time, a flying saucer is stolen by a sadistic villain, and Matt Helm (Dean Martin) is assigned to retrieve it. The energy that powers the saucer is fatal to men, so ICE agent Sheila Sommers (Janice Rule) is assigned to work with him on the case. Helm and Sommers travel to Acapulco disguised as man and wife under the pretense of doing a photo shoot at a beer factory, but their cover doesn't last long. Rival organizations also want the saucer, and it becomes a race to see who can get to it first.

The film is nearly unwatchable, and survives only on the charm and charisma of Dean Martin and Janice Rule. Rule is a smart and sassy agent who is also confidently sexy. Her verbal sparring with Helm is amusing and they make a good team. The lovely Beverly Adams returns in a tiny cameo as Helm's secretary, and it's a shame that we don't see more of her. The plot is absurd and the entire film is played out tongue-in-cheek. The innuendo-laden dialog is knowingly awful, and Martin even breaks the fourth wall to ensure nobody is taking anything seriously. The film continues the running gags of the previous entries with a circular bed, a dig at Frank Sinatra, and Helm ripping someone's clothes off (Senta Berger, this time). The production looks cheap and tacky, and the film is constantly cutting between location shots, studio shots, and rear projection shots. The action scenes aren't particularly interesting, and Martin's stunt double is painfully obvious. Unless you're an Austin Powers fan, you're better off skipping this one.