Intelligence agent Crawford (Scott Glenn) is working undercover as a cultural attache in Brussels when he receives his next mission. The mission is to smuggle Higbe (Robert Loggia) a former agent who defected to Moscow some years earlier back to America. But his mission orders are changed half way through and he is ordered to kill him which causes Crawford problems as Higbe was not only a friend but was also his mentor before he defected.
It should be little surprise when I say that "Intrigue" is an old fashioned spy thriller as it was released back in 1988 but it does mean that it is a movie which is more about the twists and turns of the plot rather than the exciting action of more recent thrillers. As such it is a movie which demands your attention because there are plenty of little things you need to observe right from the word go when we watch Crawford having a friendly game of baseball in the park but ends up being poisoned. That scene works well as it makes you sit up and pay attention as you quickly realise that you can't take your eyes off of it in case you miss something important.
Now I am not going to go into the ins and outs of what actually happens although you can guess that things are not as straight forwards as they first appear and Crawford find themselves having both the CIA and KGB on their tail. What I will say is that whilst the twists and turns are intriguing the movie rests firmly on the shoulders of Scott Glenn and he carries it brilliantly. Glenn as Crawford is no James Bond; he is tall, skinny and quiet with an almost methodical aspect about him which makes him strangely lacking charisma. Yet this makes him not only intriguing but the sort of character who you are not entirely sure of what they are capable of. Glenn's performance is not the only good one as "Intrigue" features many familiar names and faces from Cherie Lunghi through to Robert Loggia. But it is all about the cool and calculated way which Glenn plays Crawford which makes the movie.
But as I said "Intrigue" is very much a thriller from a bygone era when the focus was more on characters, dialogue and plot twists. Now this is fine except for that fact that it makes it at times slow going and unfortunately lacking in atmosphere which for me it was screaming out for more of. In a way it makes "Intrigue" the sort of movie which could well be remade by a director who could ramp up the atmosphere.
What this all boils down to is that "Intrigue" is a solid late 80s spy thriller which benefits from a cool performance from Scott Glenn which makes his character intriguing.