Welcome to Britflicks, a site dedicated to supporting the British film industry. Here you will find all the latest British film news, releases, trailers and interviews as well as some great competitions prizes.
British Film Review: Spooks: The Greater Good
Directed By Bharat Nalluri
When a TV series has a massive and loyal following – Spooks’ audience peaked at 9 million – there’s always the temptation to make a film version that’s primarily for the fans. But, according to director Bharat Nalluri, that’s not the case with Spooks:The Greater Good. Yes, there are references to the TV series, but they’re essentially back stories and don’t prevent the plot from moving forward (see the interview with the film’s director, Bharat Nalluri).
Point taken, but a little knowledge of those back stories would definitely help somebody who never saw the original series – like Yours Truly – and would also have provided a welcome breather or two from the storyline. Which goes like this ….
When Terrorist Adem Qasim (Elyes Gabel) escapes in spectacular fashion from MI5 custody, Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) takes the blame and the fall – and then disappears. But the incident has brought MI5’s whole operation into question, so former agent Will Holloway (Kit Harington) is brought back to the UK to find out what’s happened to Harry. Discovering his former boss has gone rogue, Will finds himself having to choose between turning Harry in or following his lead ……
That makes the plot sound very straightforward, although nothing could be further from the truth. Admittedly, it doesn’t commit the usual sin of a TV series adaptation, that of stretching the storyline to fit the mandatory 90 minutes or so. But it piles on the double crosses with such speed and regularity that you not only do you lose count of them, they start to become predictable. Nalluri and his team have made the sensible choice of making a self-contained film that doesn’t follow on from the end of the TV series – who would remember how it all finished anyway? At least, it’s would have been sensible approach if it didn’t assume a certain amount of knowledge on the part of the audience. Those back stories again.
The film brings back some members of the original cast, most notably Harry Pearce – it wouldn’t be Spooks without him – and his boss, played by Tim McInerney. Apart from that, it brings in a whole raft of new faces, mainly Harington, who spends an awful lot of time running around, as well as David Harewood and Jnnifer Ehlee. All decent actors, but they have precious little to do, and the words they speak don’t even qualify for the term ‘dialogue’. That implies that they actually talk to each other and they don’t. They continually talk at each other, so there’s no actual engagement between them – or between them and the audience. Which makes it hard to buy into them in any way.
Strip away all the high tech stuff and the closed circuit cameras and screens that were so closely associated with the original series, and what you have left is really just an old fashioned spy thriller rammed with double crosses. It’s been done before and a lot better.
Fans will probably feel differently, delighted to see their favourite series on the big screen, but even they will have to admit that it’s short on tension and suspense – and that’s because you’re totally detached from the characters. There is, of course, the inevitable mole in MI5 – and even non-spooks will have worked out who it is by the time the half way mark arrives.
'Spooks: The Greater Good' is released in UK cinemas 8 May 2015.
Copyright © Britflicks ltd - John Baker | Website Design - Kai Motta | Website Developer - Christian Abbott
Privacy & Cookies