CIA computer technician John Savage seeks revenge for the terrorist killing of his girlfriend. Threatening to make public his insider's information, Savage forces his reluctant bosses to train him in the art of assassination. He then heads into enemy territory (at least, it was enemy territory back in 1982) on a search-and-destroy mission. There is nothing in The Amateur that we haven't seen elsewhere, but Savage and a solid cast of supporting players Christopher Plummer,Marthe Keller, Arthur Hill, Ed Lauter, Nicholas Campbell, Jan Rubes et. al.-- keep the proceedings lively. Robert Littell co-adapted the film's screenplay from his own novel. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
A great representation of the cold war paranoia that enveloped both sides of the fence. The pacing may not be run and gun, but the story is intriguing and the tension builds methodically. Christopher Plummer is great and John Savage does an admirable job of playing the part of an amateur bent on revenge. There are plenty of plot twists and secondary characters that make for a suspenseful movie. Other reviews harp on the made for TV feel but they are missing the fact that this feature film was released in 1982 as a such feels a little dated in it's look. Overall it's a worthwhile watch and quite entertaining.
Looks like a 'made for TV' movie from the early 80s. Slow paced, woodenly acted by John Savage who inspires neither pathos nor sympathy. Predictable. You probably wouldn't watch this if it came on the late late late show for free, so don't waste the space in your rental queue.