It may not have the derring-do and wild stunts of this year’s superspy movies, such as Mission: Impossible, The Man From UNCLE and SPECTRE, but this first big screen adventure for the Spooks (MI5 if you’re American) team delivers a solid story, with some good set pieces and more than enough grey areas to justify the question inherent in its title. You have to suspect the real MI5 is nearer to Harry Pearce and co. than the real MI6 is to James Bond!
Peter Firth reprises his role of Harry Pearce from the TV series, with various other actors from the long-running show making appropriate appearances – including Lara Pulver’s Erin Watts, whose key moment reinforces the bleakness of the small screen forbear. The plot, however, predominantly focuses on Kit Harrington’s Will Holloway, one of Harry’s protégés, who is pulled in to try to find his former mentor. The relationship between the two men underpins the film more than the game of wits between Pearce and terrorist leader Adem Qasim (Elyes Gabel) which occasionally strains credibility, and the various double and triple crosses that seem to be the main concern of all those involved in the intelligence game.
Harrington fans will enjoy seeing him in this more than the waste of his talents in Pompeii, while those who bemoaned the cancellation of the TV show will find that this keeps its spirit alive on the broader canvas a cinema budget allows.
Verdict: A down to earth look at the spy game. 8/10
Spooks: The Greater Good is available now on Blu-ray and DVD, courtesy of Entertainment One