Saturday, 21 May 2016

Our Kind of Traitor (2016)

A British teacher, Perry (Ewan McGregor) ends up as part of an MI6 operation after he is befriended by a member of the Russian mafia (Stellan Skarsgard) who is willing to share critical information in return for the protection of his family.

While adapting a John Le Carre novel can give you something as engaging as 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' on one day, on another it gives you this kind of uninvolving 'thriller'.

That's not to say it's unwatchable or anything. Indeed, it was easy enough to sit through and has a couple of decent moments but it never offered anything more than average. For the most part, you have to make do with following a bland couple (who we're introduced to in a painfully bad sex scene) go through the motions in a predictable plot where all the characters will do irritatingly stupid things either to advance the plot or in an unskilled attempt to inject some 'tension'. I mean, really, if you're on the run, why would you let the teenager keep her phone? Or why, if you're assuming everything is bugged, would you discuss the secret in the enemy's car? Things like that. In the end, what this film tells me is that if I was to apply for a job in MI6 or the Russian mafia, then I'd be overqualified.

And that's about it. There isn't much going on in 'Our Kind of Traitor', and what is going on is very much familiar and by the numbers. It's not what I'd call well made, nor is it a showcase for any particularly memorable performances. It just... exists. And it's ultimately a tame and forgettable 'thriller'.

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