Firefox is no masterpiece, and it's not even a startling picture within its genre -- Cold War mischief. But it's briskly entertaining and, until the nyet-effect of all those stereotyped Russians catches up with us, even believeable. [21 June 1982, p.B4]
The simple storyline is quickly grounded by flying chunks of exposition that director/actor Eastwood tries to ignore. Eastwood the director disregards many Cold War possibilities, preferring to dawdle over a first hour that mooches along while Eastwood the actor enjoyably dons various disguises, playing a man who can't act (or so everyone tells him) and is happiest left alone with his gippy nerves.
Both loyal fans and neutral observers may agree that Eastwood has steered himself into a peculiarly murky flight path on this occasion. Literally murky, too. Much of the picture is so miserably underlit, even before the action reaches the Soviet Union, where gloom is meant to prevail. [22 June 1982, p.B]
Firefox is a burn-out. Despite the tense mission being depicted, there’s no suspense, excitement or thrills to be had, and lackadaisical pacing gives viewer plenty of time to ponder the gaping implausibilities.