STRAT­TON

The Chronicle - - Film Reviews -

BASED on a se­ries of nov­els by for­mer Spe­cial Boat Ser­vice com­mando Dun­can Fal­coner, Strat­ton is a globe-trot­ting spy ca­per that ric­o­chets be­tween Iran, Ukraine, Rome, Uzbek­istan and Lon­don.

Long on am­bi­tion and short on thrills or in­ven­tion, Si­mon West’s pedes­trian pic­ture is James Bond on a bud­get.

Do­minic Cooper doesn’t in­vest his gung-ho op­er­a­tive with charisma or emo­tional depth, and sex­ual ten­sion with Gemma Chan’s hi-tech Miss Moneypenny barely sim­mers.

There’s also thin char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion and a wooden sup­port­ing per­for­mance from Dan­ish ac­tress Con­nie Nielsen as an M-lite MI6 chief, whose clipped English ac­cent has a dis­tinct Scan­di­na­vian lilt.

West’s film is li­censed to kill time, and lit­tle else.

Spe­cial Boat Ser­vice com­man­der John Strat­ton (Cooper) and his part­ner Sergeant Marty Sturges (Tyler Hoech­lin) are dou­ble-crossed dur­ing a mis­sion in the Mid­dle East.

Con­se­quently, rogue Rus­sian agent Grig­ory Barof­ski (Thomas Kretschmann) ac­quires “one of the most lethal air­borne pathogens” in the world, co­de­named Satan Snow.

The stolen virus is weaponised and Barof­ski pre­pares to slaugh­ter an en­tire cap­i­tal city us­ing can­is­ters af­fixed to four drones.

John and his Navy Seals part­ner, Petty Of­fi­cer Hank Mon­roe (Austin Stow­ell), give chase with sup­port from a team of MI6 tech­ni­cal wizards com­pris­ing Aggy (Chan), Cum­mings (Tom Fel­ton) and Spinks (Jake Fair­brother).

How­ever, a traitor in the ranks ex­poses Strat­ton and ev­ery­one he holds dear in­clud­ing sur­ro­gate fa­ther (Derek Ja­cobi), a salty seadog with a pen­chant for filthy-minded lim­er­icks, who lives on a boat on the Thames.

Strat­ton won’t be leav­ing au­di­ences shaken or stirred.

Choppy edit­ing fails to gen­er­ate dra­matic mo­men­tum and a soli­tary twist is tele­graphed in ad­vance in cap­i­tal let­ters.

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