A historical television series that focuses on the impact of the Underground Railroad during the 19th century, "Underground" offers viewers a message of social progress that's just as relevant in 2017.
Arthur Bishop thought he had put his murderous past behind him when his most formidable foe kidnaps the love of his life. Now he is forced to travel the globe to complete three impossible assassinations, and do what he does best, make them look like accidents.
Tommy Lee Jones
Based on the extraordinary true story of Operation Anthropoid, the WWII mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the main architect behind the Final Solution and the Reich's third in command after Hitler and Himmler.
Col. Katherine Powell, a military officer in command of an operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, sees her mission escalate when a girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute over the implications of modern warfare.
When Peter and his girlfriend, Gail, cross paths with the charismatic Dima on their Moroccan holiday, the forceful Russian is quick to challenge Peter to a friendly game of tennis. But this innocuous contest is not all it seems - Dima is a long-time servant of the Russian mafia, whose new boss, 'The Prince', wants him and his family dead. His only hope is to ask the unsuspecting Peter to broker him sanctuary with the British intelligence services, in return for exposing a vein of corruption that runs right to the heart of the City of London. Soon they find themselves on a tortuous journey through Paris to a safe house in the Swiss Alps and, with the might of the Russian mafia closing in, begin to realise this particular match has the highest stakes of all... Written by
The synopsis of this movie's source novel "Our Kind of Traitor" (2010) by John le Carré on his personal website reads: "John le Carré's 22nd novel, Our Kind of Traitor, is set in contemporary, recession gripped Britain. A left-leaning young Oxford academic and his barrister girlfriend take an off-peak holiday on the Caribbean island of Antigua. By seeming chance they bump into a Russian millionaire called Dima who owns a peninsula and a diamond-encrusted gold watch. He also has a tattoo on his right thumb, and wants a game of tennis. What else he wants propels the young lovers on a tortuous journey through Paris to a safe house in the Swiss Alps, to the murkiest cloisters of the City of London and its unholy alliance with Britain's Intelligence Establishment." See more »
When Gail, played by Naomie Harris, meets Dima's twin daughters, she says, "Hi, my name's Naomie." See more »
Waltz No. 10 in B Minor, Op. 69 No. 2
Composed by Frédéric Chopin (as Frederic Chopin)
Performed by Claudio Arrau
Courtesy of The Decca Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd See more »
The recent success of the superbly staged BBC production of John Le Carré's "The Night Manager" with Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie must have been music to the ears of the producers of "Our Kind of Traitor". Was it the case that the film was held back by the studio for that very reason to ride the coat tails of that success? When you consider that principal photography of this pic was finished back in June 2014 (TWO THOUSAND AND FOURTEEN!) this becomes a definite suspicion. Because unfortunately, it's really not very good.
Ewan McGregor and Naomie ("Moneypenny") Harris play struggling couple Perry and Gail, going through a bit of a sticky patch, emotionally and sexually. (They must be, since they can't even seem to get it together on holiday in Marrakesh where frankly romance and libido come out of the taps with the running water).
One evening, after Gail strops off to "do some work", university lecturer Perry falls in with larger than life Dima (Stellan Skarsgård), a character who with his entourage reminds you immediately why having loud rich Russians in foreign holiday destinations is one of the curses of this new century. After many years of serving as the money-man for a Russian Mafia boss, Dima is now working for his unpredictable and merciless son, 'The Prince' (Grigoriy Dobrygin) who (for no readily apparent reason within the plot) seems to bump off his financier and his immediate family after big deals complete.
One such big deal for Dima is approaching in Berne,with potentially compromising consequences for high level British politicians and bankers. Dima begs for Perry's help to use this information to save his family by turning informant to MI6. Perry passes on the request to MI6 operative Hector (Damien Lewis) who struggles to persuade his boss Matlock ("Sherlock"'s Mark Gatiss) to buy into the scheme. This leaves Hector, Perry and Dima in a "Mind The Gap" position, as they desperately try to escape the vengeance of the Prince and his henchmen without a safe harbour.
It's difficult to pin down exactly where the issues are with this film. It is all just rather dull and predictable. Everything you expect to happen, does, and exactly when you expect it to. I haven't read the book (to be honest, I have never managed to get to the end of a Le Carré novel! #shortattentionspan) so I'm unaware of whether the issue lies with the source material or the screenplay by Hossein Amini ("Drive"; "The Two Faces of January").
Naomi Harris is personable enough as the lawyer/wife, but is given absolutely nothing else to do other than review a contract and babysit: given the director is a woman, this is a surprisingly retrograde storyline for women in film. McGregor doesn't really convince in the Hitchcock 'fish-out-of-water-James-Stewart' role. The Russian 'baddies' emphasise their 'baddiness' by beating up woman, which feels unnecessary and gratuitous. This allows Perry to get another couple of 'knight in shining armour' badges on his Boy Scout sleeve (again, neither realistic or believable). Damien Lewis is all pipe-and-slippers in the MI6 role, probably not doing his credentials for Bond much good.
The one role that really does work is Skarsgård as the jovial Russian, who dives into the role with great energy, delivering a full-on but convincing accent. He is eminently watchable throughout. It's also good to see young Alicia von Rittberg so memorable in the tense 'dinner' scene in "Fury" in a meatier acting role, even though her character's actions are so annoyingly dumb.
The director is Susanna White, whose only other feature to date was "Nanny McPhee Returns". That's probably all you need to know.
A film I was really looking forward to from the trailer, but a big disappointment I'm afraid.
(That's my view, but how was it for you? Please visit http://bob-the-movie-man.com for the graphical version of this review and to provide your thoughts in the comments section.)
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