Spooks : The Greater Good  (2015)    76/100

Rating :   76/100                                                                     104 Min        15

Anyone familiar with the TV series this is based on (which ran on the BBC from 2002 – 2011) will no doubt remember with fondness the show’s winning identifier – you never knew when one of the main characters would get completely annihilated. It made for an exciting watch and it felt more realistic too, given the central players, the spooks, are all MI5 intelligence agents engaged in bullet laden espionage and intense skulduggery. Indeed, I remember getting a boxed set for a season I’d missed and questioning if I’d picked up the right thing, thinking ‘Wait a minute – none of the characters on the front cover of this are in the next season’, didn’t exactly bode well for their survival chances. Speaking of which, anybody remember Keeley Hawes in the series? She was definitely a prime reason for watching it as well …

The film, the first and hopefully not the last big-screen outing, very much follows in that spirit – there are many instances of ‘hmm, are you about to get shot right now?’ and the plot unfolds at a tense pace with enough clues to make you feel like you might be solving the mystery at hand, and yet there’s enough going on to drive the equation just ahead of the audience too.

The central plot involves series stalwart Harry (Peter Firth) taking the heat for a botched op and enlisting the help of someone outwith the agency, Will Holloway (Kit Harington, who is happily on form here), to investigate what really happened, as a serial terrorist and worldwide most wanted man is left at large to plan his next large scale attack. The focus is very much on the twists and turns of the story and it’s easy to get carried along with the constant energy throughout – equally it should also prove exciting enough to forgive the occasional moments where the agents don’t really seem to do a terribly professional job. Though, they are all basically red shirts anyway so I guess it’s to be expected really. Good fun.

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