The fact I yawned my way through half of this big screen version of the hit BBC thriller series from a few years ago is not because Spooks (The Greater Good) is a bad movie, more the fact I was jet lagged from a week in the US, and needed something to take my mind off that Sunday afternoon dread.
On said flight I was gripped by Fury, the Brad Pitt WW2 tank thriller, which is proof of a good film when you consider the interruptions from flight crew and small screen.
I doubt I’d have made it past the half way mark with STGG.
It’s a competent thriller whose minimal set pieces are engaging. The cast are solid, and although I’d rarely watched the show on which it’s based, it ticks the boxes of many sub-Bond thrillers.
I like to guess how long any Brit thriller can last without the obligatory panoramic London scene featuring the Gherkin, and Spooks got that shot off early.
Kit Harington proved likeable enough as the brooding hero, while Peter Firth was solid as Harry, the potential double agent at the heart of the drama. Newcomers know he’s called Harry because Kit repeats it every other sentence, the same overused protagonist moniker problem that befalls many movies such as Enders’ Game.
Terrific support comes from Tim McInnerny and Jennifer Ehle, while the lack of over reliance on CGI effects was a refreshing change.
Alas, by the time the closing titles rolled I was underwhelmed. It felt more like a feature-length episode than a movie, and the amount of twists and turns that preceded the okay finale felt neither big or clever.
While we wait for that other ghost-titled spy epic Spectre, STGG is a fair warm up act. Efficient, watchable and a taste of things to come.
However, you’re not going to miss much by waiting for the DVD or BD.
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