Spooks was a very successful BBC drama series that ran for a number of years and was the jumping off ground for one or two big movie stars – BBC dramas have a good habit of that (see Idris Elba in Luther). Though while the BBC make world beating dramas, they rarely make the leap into the silver screen. In fact, I am struggling to recall they have ever done the leap into the silver screen. Though I do recall a rather failed Doctor Who outing with Paul McGann, but the sooner we can forget that misstep the better.
Spooks is a slang term for spy, and the spies in this instance, follows the exploits of Britain’s spy agency MI-5. The series was a usual setup, each episode stood on their own two feet, but with an over arching story that ran over them all. The stories were very good and in that great British understated way, was not outlandish or too far away from what could have been the truth. In other words, the series stood very well on its own two feet.
This is the problem with the movie. What we have here, is basically, an extended TV episode. Now don’t get me wrong, it is a very good extended TV episode, but an episode nonetheless.
We have the usual TV cast in this outing, which doesn’t help in the TV-movie translation. We do have, however, the addition of
Kit Harington (he from Games of Throne fame) who brings a little big-screen kudos. Though he doesn’t quite fit in this role playing. Doesn’t help they have built up a whole cliche story line around him, with the classic living in his fathers shadow angle.
If you are a fan of the TV series, then this will feel natural and you will get all the back stories that they continue to bleed through to this rendition. TV to movies rarely work (X-Files for example was a poor outing, while Star Trek was excellent) and this sadly doesn’t do anything to bulk that trend.
If you have not seen the TV series, then you will be a little lost on some of the references and it will all feel very hicky. Best to leave it alone.
I was a TV fan, so I did get something out of the story, but I do appreciate this won’t have mass appeal.
#79 in the series
Thursday, 5th November 2015 (Richmond)
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