There are some movies that fly in under the radar and I only discover them as their trailer plays in the cinema. Spooks was one such movie. I was a huge fan of the show during the Matthew Macfadyen era and I remember the season1 finale like it was yesterday but it’s been well over a decade since I had thought about the show so it was hard to understand where the demand came for a cinematic release of a film that could have, on another day, been a BBC special.
In fairness the trailer for Spooks: The Greater Good ticked all the right boxes so in the end it wasn’t a chore to go and see it.
PLOT: After MI5 botch a handover of a terrorist to the CIA, Harry Pierce (Peter Firth) goes on the run and it is up to Will Holloway (Kit Harrington) to track him down and prevent Qasim (Elyes Gabel) from carrying out a series of attacks on London. In the end Will must decide whether sacrificing a few lives is necessary to save the lives of millions. The Greater Good. It’s not subtle. END PLOT.
Despite Spooks being a relic from my television history all of my memories of the show came flooding back with Harry Pierce still looking irritated, posh people being all uppity while wearing suits and a grunt on the ground being the only person capable of saving London. In thirteen years nothing has changed. The plot may have had plenty of twists and turns but can they be considered clever if the entire film is running on autopilot? I am not sure. Nevertheless it was all very watchable and dare I say it; I even had fun.
Peter Firth is as dependable as ever and I am sure he will forgive me for saying that the filmmakers were not relying on his star potential to carry the film. This accolade went to Kit Harrington. I am a huge Game of Thrones fan and I love Harrington’s Jon Snow but I can never decide whether or not he is a good actor. I saw Pompeii but let’s face it no one was focusing on his performance in that film. I am pleased to inform you all that we can relax as Kit Harrington is not a one trick pony and he does have the range we were all hoping for – he rocks a man-bun like a champ. When Jon Snow’s lack of knowledge finally catches up with him Harrington will have a pretty respectable film career and it is one that I will support.
The supporting cast contained several familiar faces with Elyes Gabel and Jennifer “Gillian Anderson didn’t answer her phone” Ehle being the most recognisable. There were no weak links in the cast but there weren't any standout performances either. The autopilot feel was present throughout the entire production.
The tone of the action was grounded but there was plenty of it and Harrington deserves kudos for getting stuck in. Harrington looked impressive jumping through a glass window at the beginning of the film and looked very comfortable in an action setting. This bodes well for his future.
Overall Spooks: The Greater Good was nothing more than a Sunday night special that would have undoubtedly been beaten in the ratings by whatever show Simon Cowell is starring in on ITV. This is a shame as Spooks actually transferred well to the big screen and the film was an enjoyable watch. It gets 6.5/10. The film probably came a good five years too late to have any real impact but for nostalgia's sake it is worth a look .
BREAKING NEWS: Film version of TV show is exactly like a long episode of said TV show.