Sadly it rarely rises above middling. McDowell turns out a fine performance, but he's not the right man to play the brawny, dark Flashman. Worse, the buffoonery of the character has been magnified at the expense of his remarkable (self) honesty. Reed is the most captivating as an intense, humorless Bismarck. Fine costumes and a couple decent gags. Lester's mediocre direction is a real drag.
McDowell is really too good for the film; nice supporting turns from Reed & Bates, but Lester's staging of action-comedy is sometimes stupefying. Too often he undercuts the jokes, underplays the physical gags or altogether puts the damned camera in the wrong place. Nice costumes; but the failure of Royal Flash to become a Bond-like franchise of historical romps is obvious once you've seen it bungled so thoroughly.