I really thought I was going to love this movie. I didn’t hate it, but I certainly didn’t love it.
First the good. Gary Oldman was magnificent and should be nominated for best actor (though his not speaking for the first ten or so minutes of screen time was odd). John Hurt was wonderful as Control, but had a very small role and after the first several minutes was only seen in a few flashbacks. Other than that, I wasn’t too overly impressed with the acting, which was surprising since it included Toby Jones, Ciran Hinds, Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
This is a classic spy story.
It is believed there is a spy in the upper echelon of British Intelligence, and George Smiley (Oldman) who has been forced into early retirement along with Control must figure out who it is after Control’s death.
That’s about it. There was very little action and while there was some suspense, it wasn’t nearly what I was expecting. I think I was spoiled growing up on James Bond movies, but the total lack of anything resembling glamour in being a spy might be true to life, but doesn’t make for a great movie. If James Bond had been at the dismal Christmas parties they show in flashbacks, I’m pretty sure he would have hung himself.
Honestly, it got really boring after a while, and when you finally figure out who the spy is, you almost don’t care. The big payoff just isn’t there.
I did look up some info on this story, and it is the first of a number of novels. Perhaps if they continue to make movies based on them they might get better.
Thanks for reading!