Starring: Peter Firth, Kit Harrington, Jennifer Ehle
Genre: Action/ Thriller
After Adam Quasim (Elyes Gabel), one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, escapes MI5 custody in what should have been a routine process, the now disgraced intelligence chief Harry Pearce (Firth) suddenly disappears. With the threat of a terrorist attack on Britain at a severe level, Harry’s former protégé Will Holloway (Harrington) is called in to track down Pearce, with the intention of also discovering the whereabouts of Quasim, who plans an attack that threaten the lives of thousands of people.
Of all the TV series that have made the leap onto the big screen, BBC spy series Spooks may have been a bit of a surprise to many, but at least it is of the genre which can make good cinema if done right, and it has to be said that on the whole the makers of the film have done a very decent job. Using a combination of original and new characters, The Greater Good may contain a plot that sometimes twists itself in knots and struggles to untie a fair few of them, but it is certainly top notch entertainment with a few genuinely decent twists and turns, and it is most certainly a welcome addition to an admittedly overpopulated genre.
Though the plot is admittedly often a little silly, there are relevant themes at its core and credit should most definitely be directed in the way of screenwriters Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent as instead of non-stop pointless action they use action sequences sparingly and go for a more dialogue heavy narrative, and even though there is certainly a fair amount of exposition, every scene is never anything less than highly watchable.
One of the reasons The Greater Good is so watchable is the casting and direction; the always likeable Kit Harrington certainly looks the part in the leading role, while no Spooks film could be complete without Peter Firth’s head honcho Harry Pearce. Though Harry Pearce’s voice does not change tone or level once, Peter Firth brings the same level of assured charisma to the big screen as he did on the small screen. Meanwhile newbies Jennifer Ehle, Tuppence Middleton and Tim McInnerny all do solid jobs in roles that are pivotal to the plot, even if some of the character development and subsequent revelations are a little clichéd. Unfortunately even this cannot stop Elyes Gabel’s Qasim being any more than a two dimensional antagonist.
Director Bharat Nalluri, editor Jamie Pearson and cinematographer Hubert Taczanowski certainly all play their part in Spooks successful transition to the big screen; thought he constant shots of the London skyline do get a little repetitive, there is no denying that The Greater Good is slickly made and does feel genuinely cinematic. It is also refreshing to see that instead of playing it safe with a 12a certificate, the makers are not frightened have some brutal violence and bad language in the film to give it a 15 certificate and a little extra edge and intensity. Spooks: The Greater Good, may be a little silly and have its fair share of flaws, but in keeping to its routes it is undoubtedly an incredibly entertaining ride.
One of the few seamless transitions from small to big screen; Spooks: The Greater Good is certainly not perfect, but is a very entertaining and genuinely cinematic experience.