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Animated Ninja Technique

Double or Nothing

For Your Height Only really wants to be taken seriously as a spy picture. Its main character (Secret Agent 00, played by Weng Weng) is only 2'9" tall, but he has all the trappings of a secret agent. He has the martial arts. He has the gadgets. He has an arch-nemesis. He even has theme music which is sufficiently James Bondlike to be recognizably similar, but not sufficiently James Bondlike to be legally actionable.

A small-time criminal boss has a hit out on a young woman. Secret Agent 00 just happens to be walking past when his men try to kill her. He saved her, and uses her to help take down the criminal boss. This is largely irrelevant to the rest of the film, but it does eat up 15-20 minutes. And it demonstrates that Secret Agent 00 is willing to hide himself in unusual places and crawl around to keep from being spotted. And it introduces him to Irma, the woman he saves.

A criminal operative codenamed "Giant" is moving a lot of drugs. Irma is used as a plant within Giant's organization. Soon, Secret Agent 00 is busting up drug shipments. Giant's men realize there is a mole ... but it takes them a while to figure out who it could be, even though Irma is far from subtly as she places bugs and radio-trackers around the locations where Giant's men meet.

Secret Agent 00 has an array of gadgets. Some of them seemed over the top until I thought of some of the gadgets that Bond gets. With perspective regained, I must say that the "X-ray" glasses that allow 00 to see through fabric actually came in useful for more than a cheap "look at nude women" joke. At one point, 00 was sneaking around, and came to a room with floor-to-ceiling curtains. He put on the glasses, and saw the guys crouching behind the curtains, waiting to kill him. And to the movie's credit, he saw them all naked. Then he shot them.

The best gadgetary sequence is when he used the harness-and-visible-rope jetpack to sneak onto Giant's island. Giant, of course, turned out to be another Very Small Person Indeed, and they waged a martial arts battle as police troops stormed the island.

But in a poignant ending, in the penultimate minute of the film, as 00, Irma, and a random scientist (who was kidnapped in the first minutes of the movie and who I had forgotten about until this point) are escaping from the island, Irma is shot and killed by one of Giant's men -- literally the last bad guy left alive on the island. The final minute of the film is him rushing to her side, and screaming into the warm tropical air, "Irma! IrmAAAAAAAAA!"

Yes, I know.