Half Moon Street: Directed by Bob Swaim, Starring Sigourney Weaver and Michael Caine

Based on Paul Theroux’s well received book, “Doctor Slaughter,” the movie Half Moon Street features an intriguing, unconventional protagonist.

Sigourney Weaver plays the heroine, Ph.D. researcher Laura Slaughter with a good deal of compassion. Stuck in a low-paying government job in London, Laura decides to increase her bank account by working for what is known as an “escort service.” Though prepared for the job, there are some unexpected duties and encounters.

Things heat up, when Lord Bulbeck (Michael Caine), a high-ranking British diplomat shows up and forms a special bond with Laura.

From that point on, the narrative goes downhill, and Laura proves less bright than believed to be. Thus, she is unaware that she is being set up in a power-scheme masterminded by the rich sheik Karim Hatami (Nadim Sawalha), who controls oil.

Director Bob Swaim has hard time finding the dramatic center of the tale, and so the movie goes up and down and up again. There are also problems with the pacing of what’s supposed to be a thriller, full of tensions.