Spooks: The Greater Good review

More trouble with Harry...

GamesRadar+ Verdict

It doesn’t exactly soar and the lack of levity grates, yet the Spooks movie still delivers some appealingly old-school mayhem to pass the time while we’re waiting on SPECTRE.

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More trouble with Harry...

“You can do good or you can do well,” sighs MI5 operative Will Holloway (Kit Harington) in the long-gestating film version of the BBC’s resolutely downbeat drama. Seasoned TV director Bharat Nalluri brings a brisk professionalism to a twisty tale whose bleak take on the spy game is carried over from the original series virtually intact.

The same could be said of intelligence chief Harry Pearce (Peter Firth), as grimly sardonic as ever. Until, that is, a terrorist handover goes tits up, prompting him to jump off a bridge.

Can Will locate AWOL havoc-causer Adem Qasim (Elyes Gabel), solve the mystery of Harry’s disappearance and ferret out a mole before Section D gets shut down for good? Not without a lot of frantic running about London landmarks, shot by Hubert Taczanowski with a gleaming, silvery sheen.

Its relentless po-facedness invites an element of ridicule that The Greater Good, with limited resources and a seemingly endless series of treacherous double-crosses, isn’t wholly equipped to defend against.

You certainly won’t see more furrowed brows this year than in the scenes set in ‘The Grid’, one of those hi-tech HQs that want for nothing bar a decent light bulb. Add a few quips next time, though, and we might be talking franchise.

More info

Theatrical release8 May 2015
DirectorBharat Nalluri
Starring"Peter Firth","Kit Harington","Jennifer Ehle","David Harewood","Tim McInnerny"
Freelance Writer

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more.