A tinted tipple
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
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