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19 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Good acting - disappointing finish

Author: ldlazarus from Toronto, Canada
28 October 2011

I enjoyed the acting, Philip Glenister reminded me more of an updated "Callan", disheveled, unshaven, half asleep etc.. It was good to see David Suchet out of his "Poirot" skin for a while, although I had hoped to see more of a role for him. Anna Chancellor is a fine actress who I have seen do justice to many roles was underused,given her talents. Nevertheless the cast was well thought out and worked well together.

The storyline was another matter. The plot zig-zagged all over the place. I appreciate the need for suspense, but many questions went unanswered. Why were Gina's parents killed? (Because they were a brilliant legal team?) What had the earlier crime, the killing at Braddock House have to to do with the events 20 years later? Maybe I missed something but there seemed to be quite a few loose ends that never got resolved. And, what happened to Elspeth? The ending was not satisfying. Maybe there will be a fifth episode.

Or perhaps a new PI series based upon Philip Glenister's character. With a better plot and no loose strings, it could probably go somewhere.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Hide and seek

Author: jc-osms from United Kingdom
13 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Improbably plotted, but well shot and acted, this four-part BBC thriller held me pretty much to attention throughout even as the convolutions and implausibilities of the piece occasionally had me scratching my head in disbelief and or incredulity.

With a plot taking in little bits of "The 39 Steps", "The Manchurian Candidate" and the more recent TV thriller "State Of Play", its veracity boosted by the stranger-than-fiction subsequent real life events of the background summer riots in Britain and right now the Eurozone Crisis forcing the resignations of the Greek and Italian Prime Ministers, it hands Philip Glenister a meaty role as a seedy solicitor with a murky past caught up in events which inveigled his presumed-dead brother, two brutal sets of family murders from 20 years ago and a modern day coup dreamed up a shady billionaire financier and his mysterious female collaborator, who have at their control a secret "assassination bureau" who take out opponents and hindrances with clinical ease except of course when it's Glenister's Harry Venn and Thekla Reuten as his beautiful confederate as Gina Hawkes, like him drawn into the matter by events of the past.

The stuff about the secret army doesn't wash, the setting up of the coup is likewise too fanciful, there are too many plot-holes with a slightly over-egged but still anti-climactic ending but Glenister convinces throughout and keeps you watching. The action sequences are well handled with some memorable set-pieces inserted, particularly a through-a-door killing late on but by the time you're left with the final image of Glenister gazing confusedly into space, it's more than likely your face will share that look too.

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15 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Ducking and diving with aplomb

9/10
Author: IzAguirreWrathofGod from United Kingdom
8 October 2011

I found the opening episode, satisfyingly convoluted, with a tough-guy Lawyer cum PI, government conspiracies, an unresolved murder from the past, an impossibly beautiful mysterious solicitor, an incident in Paris, etc. Our hero Harry Vern is exactly the kind of role that Philip Glenister excels in, with his gung-ho physicality, just about stopping short of boorishness. He is a throwback to the PI's of the film noir era, who turn out to be smarter than your average bear and whose antennae lights up when a juicy fee is dangled in front of their eyes by a sexy broad. Harry seems to know all the right people from the wrong side of the tracks, having been a getaway driver in his youth. It was during one such "mission" that his brother Mark was killed and the promise that the identity of his killer will be revealed, is what Harry finds particularly irresistible. A brewing government scandal does not involve Harry yet and attempts at this juncture, to join those dots together are futile. I suspect that you need to be a Glenister fan to really get the most out of this and fortunately, I am one of those. Like Jason Statham, you always know exactly what you will get from him.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Exciting thriller let down by a poor ending.

7/10
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
28 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having recently enjoyed one fairly convoluted but excellent thriller in the BBC; Namely 'The Shadow Line' I thought I'd give this one ago too. As things stared I was quickly drawn into the story; Solicitor Harry Venn is approached by a lawyer, Gina Hawkes, claiming to represent a man who has information about his brother and another man, Harry is understandably curious as his brother died twenty years previously! Flashback show that Harry wasn't always on the right side of the law. He had once been the driver for an apparent armed robbery where the householder was killed along with two policemen. Intertwined with Harry's story we see that things aren't going well in the country; there are riots in the capital, the government is on the brink of collapse and there are allegations that the Prime Minister has been involved in some sort of financial irregularity. Of course as this is a thriller the two events aren't entirely unconnected. Over the course of the series Harry and Gina must try to find out what is going on and stop the villains from achieving their ultimate goal without being killed.

For the most part I really enjoyed this series; Philip 'Gene Hunt' Glenister and Thekla Reuten where great as Harry and Gina and the rest of the often well known cast did well in their roles… the problem however was the ending; far too much was left unexplained; we learn that various people were killed twenty years before and others we thought were dead aren't but there is no explanation about why; maybe I missed something but twenty years seems an awfully long time to plan a coup! Still there was enough good stuff before the end to mean I didn't regret watching it.

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Some loose ends tied up

6/10
Author: rwade-944-564529 from United States
9 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Someone asked what the murder 20 years earlier had to do with the events in this series. I think it was just one of many hits by the "Help Desk", and it got Venn and his brother into the story.

Mark and Hillman hadn't been sitting around waiting for these events. Hillman told Venn that he had been kept around to do jobs for the Help Desk, and was well taken care of for it. I suspect the same was true for Mark (who I also suspect killed Hillman before Hillman killed Venn). Now they were called out to deal with Gina because she wouldn't let her parents' deaths go, and maybe they were after Venn because he wouldn't let his brother's purported death go. Then they were to assassinate Wentworth, maybe to open a way for Morpeth to move in. That part's a bit murky. But Mark took out Morpeth and Styles to, once again, protect his brother.

I suspect that Venn went back into the prison at the end because he didn't want to be on the run for the rest of his life, but it would have wrapped things up nicely if he'd turned in that direction.

The length of this was good (four episodes); plenty of time to build a story and build tension, but not so long that it dragged out (like the French series Spiral that carries one case through about a dozen episodes).

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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Boring and disjointed

Author: mgould23 from United Kingdom
23 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was looking forward to this, some reasonably good write ups in the paper, probably by critics who never watched it. David Suchet, Philip Glenister are usually very good, not in this. I thought it would be something on par with 'Shadow Line'.

Unfortunately it didn't live up to expectations. Glenister is no babe magnet, so his attempt to be a Bond type in pursuit of Thekla Reuten was pathetic.

I lost interest after two episodes, the script being patchy, with the usual flashbacks keeping you wondering why the hell they need so many of these. They are great if they are done properly as in 'Shadow Line', in 'Hidden' I couldn't see the need for any. The acting was hammish and as it went on it just became more boring. I guess it might be enjoyed by Glenister fans, but it really isn't very good.

It was too long after two episodes so be prepared for a marathon.

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