Peter Lorre stars as Mr. Moto, the crafty Japanese Interpol agent, in his second big screen adventure. In this installment, Mr. Moto is after a set of ancient scrolls that leads to the treasure of Genghis Khan. Naturally, everyone close to the scrolls ends up dead, so Mr. Moto has to keep on his toes if he wants to stay alive. In the end, Moto gets tired of risking his neck for the damned things so he just burns the scrolls to be done with them.
What made the Mr. Moto series more than just a knockoff of the Charlie Chan movies was the fact that Mr. Moto knew how to kick a little ass when he had to. In this flick, Moto gets into a couple of fistfights and even kills a few bad guys; something Honorable Chan would’ve never done. Having said that, Thank You, Mr. Moto is a thoroughly middling chapter in the series. After a promising start, things get severely bogged down, especially whenever Lorre isn’t on screen.
Speaking of Lorre, he doesn’t look or sound remotely Asian, but at least he’s fun to watch. I particularly liked the scene where he killed a guy and then made it look like hari-kari to save his own ass. I also got a kick out of seeing John Carradine as an elderly antiques dealer who gets shot during a drive-by too.
Lorre returned the next year in Mr. Moto’s Gamble.