Spooks: The Greater Good, directed by Bharat Nalluri is a film that plays staunchly by the rules when spy films are considered. This is a film that makes absolutely no effort to differentiate itself from films similar within its genre and such a clear overlook sees it firmly in the back of the class and lacking any sort of real purpose when compared to other, better films of the same structure, past and present.
This spy thriller tells the story of Will Holloway, played by Kit Harington who is brought back into the MI5 fold when his mentor Harry Pearce played by Peter Firth, seemingly goes rogue and it is the task of Holloway to find him and bring him back in. Doing so will not only stop an oncoming terrorist attack that threatens the lives of hundreds of innocent people but also the identity of the traitor within the MI5 ranks will hopefully also be uncovered.
Spooks is a film with a paper thin plot, this becomes very clear from about 15 minutes into the film and while it does try to surprise you with what seem like crazy and unexpected twists, what quickly becomes the problem for the entire story is that it is something I’ve seen many times before. This is an issue that plagues almost every aspect of this film, almost nothing is new or different, I have seen a multitude of TV shows and films with the exact same story, ones that hit similar beats and ones that do it much better and more stimulating than Spooks ever does.
One area of Spooks I was confident would deliver was Kit Harington, someone who has already proved himself at being an exciting and competent actor in the hugely popular Game of Thrones. Sadly this wasn’t the case and it was of no fault of Mr Harrington himself. Where he is let down is in the fact that they seemed to have forgotten to give Harrington a character to actually play. The setup and the development of his character is (like the story) so paper thin and uninteresting, it baffled me as to why they even bothered hiring such a talented actor. The only things that he seemed to have to do in this film was run after/towards something deemed to be important and then scowl and deliver some awfully written dialogue. Though Kit Harrington looked to be trying his best to get anything out of the character of Will Holloway, he just wasn’t able to create something from nothing.
This leads onto the other actors/characters in Spooks, all of which were left, once again with nothing worthwhile to work with, apart from maybe Peter Firth’s character, Harry Pearce. The character of Harry Pearce was probably the only interesting part of the entire film and that’s probably because before this film he had 10 seasons worth of the Spooks television show to hone and understand his character. I would have happily just spent the majority of this film getting to dive deeper into the clearly messed up psyche of Firth’s character and though we do get hints of it through out, it is certainly no were near enough.
So yes the other not so varied assortment of characters. What I’ll say about them is that if you want to see a cast of characters scowl at one another for an hour and a half, then this is certainly the film for you but to any sane person out there, I want to prepare you for the fact that there is no one other than the character of Harry Pearce who has anything of worth to offer. Now I do want to reiterate that I in no way blame the great list of British actors who fill the screen, these are actors who I have seen in many other TV shows and films and have enjoyed what they have done, it is the writing and the direction that so frustratingly lets them down. Watching two stoic characters play eye spy and have the answer be rain as they sit in traffic and rain pours down on them is not interesting to watch.
It’s safe to say that Spooks: The Greater Good is a difficult film to watch, unfortunately though, it is difficult to watch for the worst reason, Spooks is a boring, uninspired film. When the credits finally rolled and I left the cinema, I was perplexed as to the purpose of the film. This is a film that is… is just there and doesn’t really do anything to warrant your attention. It’s a shame really because had there been more effort put into any aspect of the film then maybe, just maybe we could have had a new and exciting spy property for the big screen, which is very much not the case.
I think it’s obvious that I will not be recommending Spooks: The Greater Good, a film with nothing to offer and one that certainly doesn’t need your time or money wasted on it.