Sunday, December 11, 2011

12-07-11: Spy vs Spy

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY (2011) (R) **** 127 mins. D: Tomas Alfredson. Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Tom Hardy.

A retired British spy is called back into service to uncover a mole within British Intelligence.

Alfredson's latest, he last directed "Let the Right One In", is a solid and engrossing espionage thriller based on John le Carre's Cold War classic. This is an exciting spy thriller but it's not James Bond or Jason Bourne exciting. This is an action movie of the cerebral kind. It's alotta talk that I'm sure would bore the most ardent action film fan.

The film features a stellar cast of British actors and everyone is great. Once again, Gary Oldman plays the chameleon and disappears into the role of George Smiley. A man who has seen plenty while on active duty who must now investigate his own. You can see it in his gaze and posture he's not thrilled with the prospect. He is surrounded by a great supporting perfs by the likes of Colin Firth, Toby Jones, John Hurt and Tom Hardy.

The film requires you to pay attention as it incorporates frequent flashbacks and leaves you to recall that information if or when it comes into play later in the film. It is never confusing or convoluted and when the traitor is revealed it may not be who you'd think.

It's smart, engaging, well acted, written and directed. It's one of the best pure espionage thrillers to be made in quite some time.

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