Spooks: The Greater Good – The DVDfever Cinema Review


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.


Harry and Kit. Will they get on like a London on fire? Don’t bet on it…

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.


“We’re new to Spooks, but we make it look like we’ve been here years.”

With a script written by Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent, both who have written for the series, as well as being directed by Bharat Nalluri, who also took the helm for the first two episodes of the series one and two, as well as directing the last two episodes of the final series, the movie version couldn’t be in better hands and, for want of a better expression, it feels very… ‘Spooks’.

That’s not to say it’s not perfect. Like any episode I’ve seen of it, it has some moments of action amongst plenty of scenes of talking whilst looking grumpy, plenty of scenes of talking involving double crossing and then double crossing the double crossing (quadruple crossing?), or just simply endless navel-gazing. For a film, however, I expected them to have pushed the boat out a bit on the action front. I’m not sure what the budget was, but it feels like a TV movie with any additional dosh being spent on securing the big new star.

Then again, I assumed Kit was American and found out afterwards he was born in London. Also, I only learned recently that Kit Harington plays a character in Game Of Thrones called Jon Snow. Having never watched an episode, but whilst being a regular viewer of Channel 4 News, I’d much prefer to have seen their stalwart and new BAFTA Fellow, the real Jon Snow, running, jumping and shooting across the rooftops of London. Hey, the things you learn off that internet, eh?

Actually, about some of the action, there’s a fight scene in a flat which looks like the director framed it for 16:9 and then just cropped the top and bottom, leaving it looking so zoomed-in that while you know the characters are taking blows to their faces and bodies, you can’t really see a great deal and so you’re glad when it’s over.


“I am Qasim. Let me go, or I will fart under Harry’s nose.”

To that end, I also couldn’t work out why it wasn’t a 12A-cert. The violence isn’t that violent for a 15-cert, and there’s only one use of the f-word so it’s not like when Brookside did video spin-offs and replaced half the dialogue and plot with copious use of strong language. Perhaps it’s that Spooks is all about terrorism, which is a real thing, while, say, violence in a superhero or Bond film is all fantasy. Then again, I was quite glad that the auditorium wasn’t full of screaming kids, and young children wouldn’t have really ‘got’ what was going on anyway. Having had a read of the BBFC’s reasons for giving it a 15-certificate, I can see why they’ve done it. Aside from the terrorism aspect, there are other elements in the film which you can read about on their site, but which I won’t describe here since they’ll be spoilers.

Now, a moan about something in the final scene, which I’ll hide behind a spoiler warning, even though I can guarantee it will NOT be a spoiler for anyone who’s ever seen a full episode of Spooks:

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

If you like Spooks, you’ll like Spooks: The Greater Good.
If you love Spooks, you’ll love Spooks: The Greater Good.
If you hate Spooks, you’ll hate Spooks: The Greater Good. This film won’t change your mind, nor will it really gain any new followers. The movie version will at least get an audience from fans of Kit Harington, but it’s the first time he’s been in the Spooks canon, so that won’t necessarily get the same audience going back to watch all of the TV series.

So, Spooks: The Greater Good. It’s good… not great. Just good. But then if the best thing you can say about a film is that it’s good…

Spooks: The Greater Good is available for pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD, and click on the poster for the full-size image.


“Sorry, someone’s farted under my nose again.”

Running time: 104 minutes
Studio: The Pinewood Studios Group
Year: 2015
Format: 2.35:1
Released: May 8th 2015
Rating: 7/10

Director: Bharat Nalluri
Producers: Jane Featherstone, Stephen Garrett and Ollie Madden
Screenplay: Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent (based on the TV series by David Wolstencroft)
Music: Dominic Lewis

Harry Pearce: Peter Firth
Will Holloway: Kit Harington
June: Tuppence Middleton
Qasim: Elyes Gabel
Geraldine Maltby: Jennifer Ehle
Erin Watts: Lara Pulver
Warrender: David Harewood
Mace: Tim McInnerny
Robert Vass: Michael Wildman
Hannah Santo: Eleanor Matsuura
Emerson: Elliot Levey
Calum Reed: Geoffrey Streatfield
MI5 Agents: Shina Shihoko Nagai, Max Cavenham, Luke Harris
Hyperventilating MI5 Agent: Laura Swift
Ed Lansbury: Ronan Summers
Security woman: Elizabeth Conboy
Dani Tasuev: Cosmo Jarvis
Hamza Ahmadi: Amra Mallassi