People are calling this predictable and mediocre (i'd call it dependable since we all know LeCarre's M.O. by now) but i felt the acting kept me interested and the diversionary spy story was not without moral weight which is lacking in most films.
Hossein Amini's script (based on John le Carre's book) has enough layers of morality and Hellenic drama to keep Susanna White's journeyman directing afloat. Helping out is d.p. Anthony Dod Mantle who applies an acid-yellow palette and never wastes any opportunity for an interesting camera angle. Most interesting is Stellan Skarsgard as a beefy, long-haired Russian mafia defector. One of his very best performances.
This film also has Stellan Skarsgård's floppy penis. His penis sure gets around. I think that's what John Le Carré was hoping for. That, and the always lovely Ewan McGregor who isn't shy about his penis either. Ultimately, isn't that what this is really about? Just a bunch of penises fighting each other?
Another brilliant story from John Le Carre from his sons' company The Ink Factory. It has all the hallmarks of a high quality thriller and we find Ewan McGregor as a humble professor from London strangely entangled with the Russian Mafia. It unfolds with a fantastic cast with Damien Lewis and Naomie Harris and like the Night Manager from the same author it is extremely good.
I really didn't know what to expect from this movie, how i got it in my laptop and i knew for sure it will not score a decent rating. Still i decided to watch it because of that cast and to kill time.
Anyway the movie lacks many good things, a strong story first of all. It's not that interesting after all, convincing not at all but at least well paced, not so boring.
Sorry but just the lowest rating for this movie.
Despite some solid performances, notably the ever reliable Stellan Skarsgård, this thriller coasts along but never managed to fully engage me with any edge-of-your-seat tension or enough emotional investment to the main players.
After a promising and shocking opening, this turns into an underwhelming and predictable affair. McGregor is infuriatingly bland (where is that spark from his early performances?!), Harris okay, Skarsgard appealing. Lewis is interesting: he attempts a still-waters-stiff-upper-lip thing but it doesn't quite come off, making me yearn for an Oldman or Guinness to bring to life the classic tortured civil servant role.
I wonder if TV hasn't rendered this particular kind of material obsolete, given how light and disposable this feels compared to denser offerings. Globe-trotting even looks boring here, though I wasn't a fan of the ugly sheen that the cinematography depicted it through either. Ewan cashes in his next cheque and Skarsgard seems to be the only one having fun, even if he remains miscast. Bland film.