7 out of 10
Release date: 16th September 2011
Director: Tomas Alfredsson: (The Snowman (2016) / Let The Right One In)
Cast: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Ciaran Hinds, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Dencik, Simon McBurney, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Stephen Graham, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Philip Martin Brown, Christian McKay with Kathy Burke and John Hurt
Writer: Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan
Trailer: TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
I’m not familiar with the book or the TV adaptation of John LeCarre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, so I went in cold, oblivious to them to see if this film version could live up to expectations. What I can tell you is this is a superior piece of story telling let down by a needlessly convoluted storyline when the plot through-line is easy to follow. Resolutions are apparent to the audience before the characters cotton on, a few times. Also, I didn’t like the montage ending to Bobby Darin’s song Beyond The Sea . A) I hate that song and B) it was out of step with the tone and all of the other music used in the film up to then. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Onto the plot.
There is a mole at the very top of the food chain at MI5 and whats more he’s been there for years. It’s down to veteran semi-retired spy George Smiley (GARY OLDMAN – HANNIBAL) to uncover his identity. Just who has been trading secrets with the Russians? That’s the plot in a nutshell. Spies speak of Smiley’s opposite number in Russia as if he is a ghost, a spy comes in from the cold (TOM HARDY – STAR TREK: NEMESIS) with crucial information about the mole and some of the best actors the UK has ever spawned pad the London streets in beige rain jackets to some excellently cool jazz music.
On the whole Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is really engaging. The cast is flawless as you’d expect by rolling an eye down the list. Gary Oldman is the best he’s been in twenty years in a role where he gets to actually live in. After a long line of franchises, Id forgotten that he was capable of brilliance. Colin Firth (BRIDGET JONES) continues his upward swing of interesting character actors. He’s fast turning into one of my favourite actors after years of slumming it in cod Mr Darcy rip off roles in rom-coms. Elsewhere in the cast John Hurt (CONTACT) steals early scenes as Number One. Naturally secretive and weaselly and wise like no one else can quite do. It’s nice to see Kathy Burke (KEVIN AND PERRY GO LARGE!) back on the big screen as female spy. It is all impeccably directed and looks great. Director Tomas Alfredsson is famous for his awesome vampire movie Let The Right One In. I look forward to seeing what he’s got lined up.
7 out 10 – An actors’ film. It’s an interesting but over complicated spy jaunt to contrast to the high jinks of James Bond and the Bourne series. Great acting. What a cast!
BAD REVIEW BELOW by Matt (Spy Camera) Usher
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?
- Gary Oldman: Man Down, Flying Horse (dir), Monster Butler, Child 44, The Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Robocop (2014), Paranoia (2013), The Dark Knight Rises, Lawless, Harry Potter- Parts 3-8, Kung Fu Panda 2 (voice), Red Riding Hood (2011), The Book Of Eli, Planet 51 (voice), The Unborn, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Hannibal, The Contender, Lost In Space, Airforce One, The Fifth Element, Basquiat, The Scarlet Letter (1995), Murder In The First, Immortal Beloved, Leon, Romeo Is Bleeding, True Romance, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), JFK, Henry & June, State Of Grace, Rosencrantz & Guilderstern Are Dead, Chattahoochee, We Think The World Of You, Criminal Law, Prick Up Your Ears, Sid & Nancy, Mean Time
- Colin Firth: Bridget Jones Baby, Genius, Kingsman – The Secret Service, Magic In The Moonlight, Before I Go To Sleep, The Devil’s Knot, The Railway Man, Gambit (2012), The King’s Speech, St Trinians 2, A Single Man, Dorian Gray, Easy Virtue, Genova, Mamma Mia!, The Accidental Husband, St Trinians, And When Did You Last See Your Father, The Last Legion, Nanny McPhee, Where The Heart Lies, Bridget Jones 2, Trauma (2004), Love Actually, The Girl With The Pearl Earring, Hope Springs, The Importance Of Being Ernest (2002), Bridget Jones, Relative Values, Shakespeare In Love, A Thousand Acres, Fever Pitch, The English Patient, Pride & Prejudice (TV), Circle Of Friends, The Hour Of The Pig, Valmont, Apartment Zero, A Month In The Country, Another Country
- Tom Hardy: London Road, Legend (2015), Child 44, Mad Max 4, Locke, The Dark Knight Rises, Lawless, This Means War, Warrior (2011), Deserter, Inception, Bronson, Sucker Punch (2008), Rock N’ Rolla, Flood, Scenes Of a Sexual Nature, Marie Antoinette, Layer Cake, Star Trek- Nemesis, Black Hawk Down
- Mark Strong: 6 Days, Grimsby, Kingsman – The Secret Service, The Imitation Game, Before I Go To Sleep, Blood (2013), Welcome To The Punch, Zero Two Dark, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Kick Ass, The Guard, John Carter, Black Gold, The Eagle, Robin Hood (2010), The Green Lantern, The Way Back, Sherlock Holmes (2009), Rock-N-Rolla, Body Of Lies, Young Victoria, Flashbacks Of a Fool, Sunshine (2007), Stardust, Scenes Of a Sexual Nature, Revolver, Syriana, The Long Firm (TV), Heartlands, The Martins, Elephant Juice, Fever Pitch, Hotel (2001), Our Friends In The North (TV), Captives
- Toby Jones: Anthropoid, Alice In Wonderland 2 (voice), Dad’s Army, Serena, Hunger Games – Mockingjay 2, Marvellous, By The Gun, Muppets Most Wanted, Captain American 2, Berberian Sound Studio, Snow White & The Huntsman, The Hunger Games, Red Lights, Tintin (voice), My Week With Marilyn, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows- part 1 (voice), Captain America, Your Highness, The Rite, Sex Drugs and Rock N’ Roll, St Trinians 2, Nightwatching, Creation, W., Frost / Nixon, City Of Ember, St Trinians, The Mist, The Painted Veil, Infamous, Mrs Henderson Presents, Finding Neverland, Ladies In Lavender, Harry Potter & The Chambers Of Secrets, Simon Magus
- Ciaran Hinds: Hitman – Agent 47 (2015), The Sea, Closed Circuit, Game Of Thrones (TV), John Carter, Ghost Rider 2, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows- part 2, The Woman In Black, The Rite, The Debt, Race To Witch Mountain (2009), Stop-Loss, Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, In Bruges, There Will Be Blood, Margot At The Wedding, Hallam Foe, Rome (TV), Miami Vice, Munich, The Phantom Of The Opera, Calendar Girls, Tomb Raider 2, Veronica Guerin, Road To Perdition, The Sum Of All Fears, The Lost Son, Titanic Town, Oscar and Lucinda, Some Mother’s Son, Mary Reilly, Persuasion, Circle Of Friends, The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover
- Benedict Cumberbatch: Jungle Book – Origins (voice) (2015), Dr Strange, Black Mass, Sherlock (TV), The Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies (voice), The Imitation Game, Osage- August County, 12 Years a Slave, The Hobbit – The Desolation Of Smaug (voice),The Fifth Estate, Star Trek 2, The Hobbit- An Unexpected Journey (voice), Sherlock Holmes (TV), Wreckers, War Horse, Third Star, Four Lions, Atonement, The Other Boleyn Girl, Starter For Ten
- David Dencik: Kidnapping Freddy Heineken, Serena, The Homesman, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009)
- Stephen Graham: Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Hyena, Get Santa, Blood (2013), Best Laid Plans (2012), Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Texas Killing Fields, This Is England 88, This Is England 86, The Season Of The Witch, London Boulevard, Public Enemies, This Is England, The Damned Utd, Inkheart, The Crew, Doghouse, Awaydays, Goal, Snatch, Coronation Street (TV), Downtime
- Kathy Burke: Pan, Flushed Away (voice), Anita & Me, Once Upon a Time In The Midlands, The Martins, Kevin & Perry Go Large, Love Honour & Obey, Elizabeth I, Dancing At Lughnasa, This Year’s Love, Nil By Mouth, Sid & Nancy, The Harry Enfield Show (TV)
- Simon McBurney: Mission Impossible 5, The Theory of Everything, Magic In The Moonlight, Jane Eyre (2011), Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows – Part 1, The Golden Compass, The Last King Of Scotland, Body of Lies, The Duchess, The Manchurian Candidate (2006), Kafka,
- Roger Lloyd-Pack: Made In Dagenham, Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire, Hollow Reed, The Vicar Of Dibley (TV),The Young Poisoners’ Handbook, UFO (1993), The Trial (1993), The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover, Only Fools and Horses (TV)
- Philip Martin Brown: Strawberry Fields, Waterloo Road (TV), The Bill (TV), Casualty (TV)
- Christian McKay: Draw On Sweet Night, The Theory of Everything, Northern Soul, Rush (2013), Mr Nice, Me and Orson Welles
- John Hurt: Tarzan (2016), Snowpiercer, Hercules (2014), Only Lovers Left Alive, Doctor Who – Day Of The Doctor, Dr Who (TV), Merlin (TV) (voice), Immortals (2011), Brighton Rock (2011), Harry Potter 1,7 & 8, Melancholia, New York I Love You, The Limits Of Control, 44 inch Chest, V For Vendetta, Hellboy 1 & 2, Outlander, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, Perfume, The Oxford Murders, The Skeleton Key, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, The Proposition, Lost Souls, Contact, Night Train, You’re Dead, All The Little Animals, Love and Death On Long Island, WIld Bill (1995), Dead Man, Rob Roy, Second Best, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, Monolith, King Ralph, The Field, Scandal, White Mischief, Heaven’s Gate, The Elephant Man, 1984, Watership Down (voice), Midnight Express, Alien, The Naked Civil Servant, 10 Rillington Place, Little Malcolm