Film review: Spooks: The Greater Good (7 out of 10)

It’s always a leap of faith when films are made based on a UK TV series.

Saturday, 9th May 2015, 12:52 pm

Some don’t make the grade (The Avengers - the John Steed/Emma Peel version obviously; Pennies From Heaven; the recent Sweeney movie).

Others, of course, do very nicely thank you (The Inbetweeners... OK, very few do).

So this film based on the BBC TV series Spooks was a brave move.

The trick, of course, is to have some characters from the original programme, but enable anyone who hasn’t seen a single episode to enjoy it as well.

To that end it does rather well.

Peter Firth is back as MI5 Intelligence Chief Harry Pearce, a man who puts the job ahead of everyone and has seen plenty of people die as a result.

The film starts with a terrorist, Qasim (Elyes Gabel) escaping while in transit in the UK.

Pearce is blamed and disappears.

He is convinced there is someone at the very top trying to bring down MI5. In an attempt to track the person down and stop Qasim pull off a major terrorist attack in the UK he drags in former agent Will Holloway (Kit Harington).

There’s twists and turns galore and enough red herrings to fill a good sized fish pond.

In fact pretty much the same formula that made Spooks so successful on TV.

Firth knows the Pearce character so well he is able to play the role with apparent ease and further flags up the fact he is a very accomplished actor.

The downside is that only Harington (Game of Thrones) is able to make much of a mark in Firth’s shadow.

Jennifer Ehle, Tuppence Middleton, David Harewood and Tim McInnerny all put in a good shift, making the most of their roles.

But this is really Firth’s film.

There are a few big action scenes where the extra film budget gives director Bharat Nalluri a bit more scope.

But he ramps up the tension well without throwing a lot of cash at a scene.

Overall, an entertaining spy thriller that everyone who enjoys this genre should get something out of.

Film details: Spooks: The Greater Good (15) 104mins

Director: Bharat Nalluri

Starring: Kit Harington, Jennifer Ehle, Peter Firth

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol