A tinted tip­ple

Rutherglen Reformer - - The TIcket -

Spooks the TV show sort of passed me by – I was more in­ter­ested in Jack Bauer tack­ling ter­ror­ists and CTU moles in 24 than any­thing go­ing on in its Bri­tish spy coun­ter­part.

Thank­fully for me, then, you can dive straight into this big-screen take on the MI5 squad with­out need­ing any prior knowl­edge of pre­vi­ous sto­ry­lines and still en­joy the en­er­getic es­pi­onage fare served up.

New cast ad­di­tion Kit Har­ing­ton (Will Holloway) teams up with Peter Firth’s dis­graced in­tel­li­gence chief Harry Pearce to try to foil an im­mi­nent ter­ror­ist attack on Lon­don.

In a year that ends with Bond’s lat­est adventure, The Greater Good can’t help but come across as a space-filler un­til 007 pulls his tuxedo out from the wardrobe.

But there are enough shocks, street es­capes and stir­ring set pieces that defy bud­getary con­straints to make this worth an hour and 40 min­utes of your at­ten­tion.

Other than lit­tle-known se­quel The Crow: Sal­va­tion, In­dian direc­tor Bharat Nal­luri’s ca­reer is dom­i­nated by small-screen en­tries – in­clud­ing six episodes of Spooks – and he does a fine job of mak­ing the most of very lit­tle.

Lack­ing the multi-mil­lions Sam Men­des will have at his dis­posal for Spec­tre, Nal­luri shoots some of Lon­don’s most fa­mous sights with glis­ten­ing beauty and gets his cam­era up close and per­sonal with his largely un­known cast.

Har­ing­ton was ob­vi­ously brought on board due to his Game of Thrones fame but fol­lows up Pom­peii with an­other limp leap into the movie world – more bland than Bond.

And Elyes Ga­bel’s one-note an­tag­o­nist (Qasim) is noth­ing more than a ‘TV vil­lain of the week’ that Bauer would prob­a­bly dis­patch within 24’s first hour.

For­tu­nately, Firth has a ball as he takes his long-serv­ing char­ac­ter into mul­ti­plexes, mix­ing de­lib­er­ate de­ci­sion-mak­ing and trick­ery with an old-school charisma that bet­ters any­thing else on show.

Tup­pence Mid­dle­ton ( June) and Eleanor Mat­suura (Hannah), new­com­ers to the spy world, de­serve credit, too, for in­ject­ing en­ergy into their smaller roles.

Spooks writ­ing vet­er­ans Jonathan Brack­ley and Sam Vin­cent penned the screen­play and stick to what the TV show was best known for – twists and turns.

From a sur­prise re-in­tro­duc­tion to Harry’s char­ac­ter and dou­ble-crosses galore, to enough con­spir­acy to fill an Oliver Stone doc­u­men­tary, you’re kept guess­ing all the way up un­til the tight fi­nale.

But this cli­mac­tic show­down shines a spot­light on the very best and worst of the film – elec­tri­fy­ing face-offs hin­dered by a smallscale, in­door set­ting that would make for an early Add a touch of glitz to your din­ner dia­logue scene – at best – par­ties and make your glass of wine in Bond’s world. evenev more fab­u­lous with th­ese

The Greater Good can’t light-up­lig LED glasses which strobe quite fully es­cape its TV throughth seven dif­fer­ent colours, or trap­pings, then, but when justju stick on your favourite. LED Firth is on screen and

wine glass, £5.95 each, prezzy­box. wwc co the stakes are raised, a rol­lick­ing ride awaits. com


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