Spooks: The Greater Good was released this May, and has impressed fans of the BBC One British television series, Spooks, which aired from 2002-2011 and followed the professional and personal lives of various MI5 agents.
The new film begins when the hand-over of an international terrorist, Adem Qasim (Elyes Gabel) goes wrong and he escapes MI5 custody to rejoin his terrorist group. The head of counter-terrorism, Harry Pearce (Peter Firth), is blamed for the disastrous failure which raises questions about the capabilities and future of MI5. In retaliation Harry vanishes and goes undercover to find Qasim and pursue his theory that someone within MI5 assisted the escape for personal gain.
But following his disappearance, the service enlists the help of ex-MI5 agent, Will Holloway (Kit Harington) to find Harry and unearth the truth. But lies within lies and webs of deceit get in the way and Will uncovers more than he bargained for in the messy world of hidden international political corruption.
As the clock ticks, and Qasim unleashes terrorist attacks upon London, Will has to fight the status quo and do the right thing to save innocent lives and to save the not so innocent service. But at the end of the day, will Qasim be stopped and will the MI5 traitor be brought to justice?
The film had its ups and downs, one being that some scenes were not as fast-paced as they could have been, causing the film to lag on longer than necessary. The film did echo previous films such as Tinker Tailor Solider Spy (2011), and the Bourne films (2002-2012). This made it a little bit regurgitated, but it had enough individual personality to stand alone. The narrative was energetic and focused and kept the audience engaged and guessing throughout.
The use of cameras and editing was slick and sly and added to the aggressive and turbulent nature of the narrative and themes. Likewise, the blue and grey camera filters used throughout made the scenes feel cold and unwelcoming which once again enriched the chilling atmosphere of danger, death and deceit.
But the star studded cast of Kit Harrington, Jennifer Ehle, Tim McInnerny and Hugh Simon carried the film more than anything and demonstrated just how the British do it best. Kit Harrington was his usual doe-eyed self, but his performance was earnest and controlled, giving it the maturity and honesty that many contemporary actors lack and it enhanced the quality of the holistic production.
Overall, this film directed by Bharat Nalluri, who is certainly not an obvious choice did a really good job of connecting this film to the Spooks series and maintaining the respect and interest of fans. But at the same time it was a tight, understated, intelligent and effective stand-alone film that may not reach the top ten for 2015 releases, but was absolutely worth seeing.