Directed by Simon West
BE PREPARED to be shaken and stirred, but not for the right reasons, by this unintentionally hilarious spy thriller, which comes across as 007’s poorer cousin.
Based on Duncan Falconer’s series of novels, it stars Dominic Cooper as Special Boat Service commando John Stratton, who tracks down an international terrorist cell planning to cause maximum devastation in Britain.
At a special Q&A — which proved more entertaining and informative than the film we had watched — the film’s director Simon West revealed that he was aiming to provide a more realistic look at the intelligence services’ work, in contrast to the James Bond films.
An admirable sentiment but his film, which starts off with great promise, soon descends into the realms of ludicrousness. The action scenes, culminating in a ridiculous and unexciting final bus chase through London, and risible dialogue drew deafening guffaws from fellow reviewers at the screening I attended.
Cooper, magnificent in The Preacher TV series, can’t save this car crash of a spy film despite his charm and charisma while Connie Nielsen — with her cod posh British accent and stilted performance — gives her worst performance to date as the head of MI6.
When Derek Jacobi pops up on a canal boat spouting dirty limericks (why?) you know things have hit some kind of surreal rock bottom.
West admitted that he’s hoping this will be the beginning of a franchise as there are eight books in the series. Wishful thinking, I fear.
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