Spy drama just ‘Kind of’ sits there

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - MOVIES - By Cary Dar­ling Fort Worth Star-tele­gram

“Our Kind of Traitor” has all the ear­marks of an en­joy­able, if dis­pos­able, con­tem­po­rary thriller: in­trigue, ex­otic lo­cales, vil­lain­ous Rus­sians, Moneypenny from the James Bond movie “Spec­tre,” a John le Carre pedi­gree and Ewan Mc­gre­gor look­ing fright­ened.

But un­for­tu­nately, the pre­dictable sum is less than its po­ten­tially en­ter­tain­ing parts.

Mc­gre­gor is Perry Make­peace, a Bri­tish univer­sity pro­fes­sor on va­ca­tion in Morocco with his wife, Gail (Naomie Har­ris, aka Moneypenny). Their mar­riage is i n trou­ble, and it’s some­thing Rus­sian mob­ster Dima (Stel­lan Skars­gard) picks up on when he spies them across a restaurant.

After Gail walks out, Dima in­vites lonely Perry over for a drink with his Rus­sian pals.

Dima lures Perry deeper into an in­stant friend­ship (they bond even more over a tennis game the next day), and then Dima re­veals his true mo­tive: He be­lieves his new boss, dubbed The Prince (Grig­oriy Do­bry­gin), is go­ing to kill him and his family.

As Dima doesn’t have faith in any of his hench­men, he needs Perry to de­liver some in­for­ma­tion and a mes­sage to MI6 in­volv­ing high-rank­ing English politi­cians mak­ing cozy deals with Rus­sian crime gangs. In re­turn for that in­for­ma­tion, he wants pro­tec­tion and asy­lum in Bri­tain.

Based on a novel by John le Carre and di­rected by Su­sanna White (“Nanny Mcphee Re­turns”), “Traitor” could be a jolt of a joyride with Perry be­ing the un­en­vi­able man in the mid­dle not know­ing whom to trust.

In­stead, it limps from plot point to plot point with lit­tle sus­pense to a con­clu­sion that of­fers few sur­prises.

The per­for­mances are solid, es­pe­cially Skars­gard, Damian Lewis as the MI6 con­tact and Khalid Abadalla as his as­sis­tant, but that’s not enough to make “Our Kind of Traitor” our kind of movie.

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