Spooks: The Greater Good begins with a number of the MI5 team stuck in a typical London traffic jam, transporting evil terrorist Qasim (Elyes Gabel). Quite why they didn’t wait until rush hour was over or, say, do it overnight, is anyone’s guess. The whole process would’ve gone far more smoothly.
As it is, it doesn’t take long for him to end up on the run and making threats to blow stuff up in London, in order to give the film a plot, necessitating everyone to be on the lookout for him and for Spooks stalwart Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) to growl and look indignant as if someone’s just dropped a ‘silent but deadly’ fart under his nose. He’s also still miffed because he never got over the death of Ruth (who was played by Nicola Walker, and no, she doesn’t return from the dead like you’d expect the occasional big name to do, during the series), four years earlier.
So where does Kit Harington fit into all this? Well, apart from the fact that they wanted to get a big name on board to attract the worldwife market – he’s in that Game Of Thrones thing, you know, although I’ve not seen that so I remember him from Silent Hill: Revelation 3D – Kit plays Will Holloway, a former spook who joined shortly after the last series ended, and was then decommissioned by Harry in 2012, for reasons you’ll learn during the film and which have something to do with Berlin.
Hopefully, the sequel will feature another terrorist turning up to bomb everyone who appears on Gogglebox. And then MI5 will just leave them to it. I’d enjoy watching that.
I was never a die-hard devotee of Spooks back in the day. I watched occasional episodes, often just the first couple of a 10-part series – returning for the last two just to see what happened, since it all got way too daft way too quickly whilst also trying to take itself too seriously. I think I saw most of the final series, but it went in one eye and out the other. And that’s kind of how this film also feels.
As for the rest of the cast, since I wasn’t a regular viewer, I assumed Jennifer Ehle (as Geraldine Maltby) and Michael Wildman (as Robert Vass) were old hands, and I’d completely forgotten that Lara Pulver (as Erin Watts) was in the last series, but I’ve had a few sleeps since then. In fact, she has also graced the Game Of Thrones set, in last year’s videogame, Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series). Tim McInnerny returns as Mace, but ever since Blackadder, I always think of him as Lord Percy, whenever he pops up in anything.
Newbies include Tuppence Middleton as June, and David Harewood as David Harewood, sorry, Francis Warrender, but quite frankly, David Harewood is David Harewood in everything he plays. Not that that’s a bad thing, but he just seems to play the same character in everything.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the film.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.