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Spooks: The Greater Good – Review


Release Date: 8 May 2015
Director: Bharat Nalluri
Writer: Jonathan Brackley - Sam Vincent [Screenplay]
Cast: Kit Harington - Jennifer Ehle - Tuppence Middleton - Elyes Gabel



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Posted May 10, 2015 by

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Spooks: The Greater Good Review:

Think British Cinema, and what springs to mind? I’ll tell you; lavish, indulgent period films with corsets galore or gritty, real life dramas usually set on some North London council estate where the British class system is well and truly alive.

And, let’s face it, we do these well. With the notable exception of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, we’ve not really strayed from the formula.

That is to say, thrillers aren’t our thing. Not unless something is shaken and not stirred…

Turns out there’s a reason for that.

Spooks on our televisions was a gripping, twisting, thrill ride of a drama, full of moves and counter moves that rarely anyone could guess. Enough punch and enough intrigue to keep you hooked till next week.

Two hours is not enough time to make that work. So the end result is just…



Very briefly (without trying to give too much away although that’s pretty hard…), here’s what’s going on; our ever-present Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) is forced into hiding when MI5 loses the man at top of the CIA’s terrorist list. Thinking he’s gone rogue, curly and surly Will Holloway (Kit Harington- who still knows nothing including how to get past that scowl…) is called in to find him after Harry makes an encrypted call to his phone. But Harry is the reason Will was booted from the service in the first place…

All very melodramatic, yes, to the point where whatever the hell happened in Berlin between Harry and Will’s father can’t be taken seriously. Such important back story is forced into every conversation between and about the two that it loses all sense of mystery. In the end, you find you don’t really care…

Which is basically what happens for the rest of the film. Twists and countertwists come so thick and so fast there’s no time for build, no time to sow that small seed of doubt that has you guessing until the very end, the very trait that made the television show so appealing. Double crosses arrive without a hint of stealth you see them coming a mile away. The limitations of a film’s running time obviously don’t help, but nor does the over-dramatic acting (Tim McInnery employs his best Captain Darling…), the clanky script, the endless running…

It all adds up to a silly mess that there’s no real threat to be felt. Motivations don’t make sense, traitors aren’t really that traitorous and terrorists seem to be the ones with the most logic…

An interesting thought, but one that is clearly not supposed to be the case in this film. A silly over-the-top, self-indulgent tangle that’s ten years too late. Sorry, Harry, but I really do think it’s time the Service comes to an end…


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Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 20.11.45

Katy Embling
Freelance Contributor


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