Movie Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier, Spy (2011)

Posted: May 5, 2012 in Drama
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George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is brought out of retirement by the British intelligence agency MI6, to track down a Russian mole in the agency’s midst. A rogue agent named Ricki Tarr (Tom Hardy) that his girlfriend Iriina (Svetlana Kohdchenkova) knows who the mole is.  Before she can tell anyone, she is shot.  Years earlier, the head of the Mi6, Control (John Hurt) tells George that he suspects there’s a Soviet mole on the inside of Mi6, but before Control can say anything, he is killed.  A Russian agent posing as a cultural attaché named Polyakov (Konstantin Khabenskiy) is receiving the information from the mole, but who is the mole?  It is someone very high in the agency, it could be Percy Alleline (Toby Jones) Toby Esterhause (David Dencik) Roy Bland (Ciarian Hands)  or Bill Haydon (Colin Firth)  George must be careful or he will wind up like Control or Irina.

Words cannot describe how much I hated this movie.  If the pacing were any slower, the movie would be moving backwards.  There is no action, this is the opposite of an action movie, it’s an in-action movie.  The plot is incredibly dense, and complicated, when it should have been simple and easy to follow.  One character moves the story forward an inch, then another character takes over and we follow him along for a little while, and so the story plods forward for what seems like days, I only wanted it to end.  It felt like torture after a while , and a movie shouldn’t be a torturous experience.  I’m a pretty sophisticated person, I like spy movies, like Bourne, I like art-house films like the Artist but this was way too highbrow for me.  It was like an art-house spy movie, and frankly it put me to sleep.  It was directed by Tomas Alfredsson, who did Let the Right One In, which I loved, but his direction was lacking in this movie.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.  This movie needs a lot of tinkering to make it worth watching.

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