Taylor gives us an Aussie Bond
I don't know whether it was intentional but "Nobody Runs Forever" or "The High Commissioner" as it is alternatively known feels like Rod Taylor auditioning for the part of James Bond. Sounds daft as in the movie he plays an Australian bush policeman sent to London to bring back a suspected murderer which to be honest doesn't sound James Bond like. But then he puts on a tuxedo, sleeps with one woman and flirts with another, gets involved in some heroics and a punch up and whilst Bond liked his Martini's we have Taylor's Scobie Malone liking a beer. There are more comparisons and if you approach it in this manner "Nobody Runs Forever" is actually quite entertaining yet if you watch it as just an action thriller it ends up just about average.
Australian policeman Scobie Malone (Rod Taylor - The Glass Bottom Boat) is sent to London on a very sensitive mission, to arrest Sir James Quentin (Christopher Plummer - The Sound of Music) on suspicion of murdering his first wife many years earlier. But Quentin who having changed his name is now High Commissioner is in charge of important talks between the East and West and Scobie whilst questioning whether or not he is truly guilty soon discovers that there are people who don't want the talks to be a success and want Sir James dead.
"Nobody Runs Forever" is a tale of two stories with the first being the reason why Scobie is sent to London and that is to retrieve Sir James Quentin who it appears murdered a former wife. In a way this is purely a lead in for Scobie to become embroiled in the second storyline that of people wanting to kill Sir James but it is always lurking as to whether or not he is guilty of murder despite pretty much admitting it. It's not the most exciting of story elements and you can actually work out whether or not he is guilty of murder before the question is answered.
But to be honest the real storyline to "Nobody Runs Forever" is who wants Sir James killed as he tries to broker some form of peace deal between the East and West. As such what we have is whether or not Scobie can protect him from being killed whilst trying to discover who is behind it and this is where everything goes James Bond like. From saving Sir James from being shot through to flirting with beautiful women and on to a few fist fights it has all those very stereotypical Bond elements; it's just missing a few special gadgets. But because we actually learn who is behind it all very early on that element of surprise is missing.
It's because "Nobody Runs Forever" basically serves everything up on a plate it is not that thrilling or at least it struggles to keep you wondering who is a good guy and who is a bad guy. But it does serve up a few good scenes especially one which has a concealed gun in a TV camera at Wimbledon Tennis Club, it leads through to one of the most memorable action scenes.
What is for certain is that whilst "Nobody Runs Forever" also stars Christopher Plummer as Sir James and the beautiful Camilla Sparv as his secretary this is very much a movie all about Rod Taylor as Scobie Malone. And as already mentioned it feels like Rod Taylor is auditioning for James Bond as whist he is a rough and ready Australian bush policeman whose tipple of choice is beer he shares a lot of similarities. From the minutes he dons a tuxedo he has this eye for the ladies and he also has a line in witty banter as well, plus of course he is heroic and tenacious. In fact having watched this Rod Taylor movie you begin to think that Taylor could have made a good James Bond.
What this all boils down to is that as an action thriller "Nobody Runs Forever" isn't that brilliant because it does serve everything up on a plate when it comes to the storyline. But watching Taylor play a slight variation on a James Bond character is entertaining and it is this side of things whether it was intentionally done or not which ends up making it entertaining.