Friday, January 20, 2012

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Get out your spy guns and spy glasses, we're reviewing Tinker Tailor Soldier Candlestick Maker! No wait, it's Tinker Tailor Soldier Platypus! No, Tinker Tailor Timelord! Oh, let's just get on with it. 
I'm trying to do more stuff in Illustrator, but I never like the colors.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has some great acting and can be really suspenseful, but it's also long and hard to follow. 

When Control (John Hurt) thinks there's a mole in the highest ranks of MI6, George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is called in to suss out who it is. What follows is a tale of suspense and intrigue. 

One of the best things about this movie is the mood and atmosphere it creates. It perfectly incapsulates that 60's feel of British espionage; everyone wears a 3-piece suit, drives a classic automobile and there's a nice, warm brown color scheme going on. 

The second best thing is the acting. When you have the likes of Gary Oldman, Mark Strong and Colin Firth, you know you're going to have a well-acted movie. Oldman is particularly amazing. He'll be a completely stone-cold spy in one scene, then in the next, he'll seem ten years older, as though he's tired of it all. My personal favorite is Benedict Cumberpatch (he plays the new, young Sherlock Holmes) who gets a couple of intense scenes to himself. 

Storywise, it's slow, hard to follow, and kind of all over the place. It uses flashbacks that incorporate characters who you don't know are alive or dead, making it hard to tell when it all takes place. The use of spy jargon doesn't help either. There also isn't much of a cohesive narrative. It seems to be Smiley's story, but then in the middle, they spend what seems like 45 minutes introducing Tom Hardy's character. And then there's a long sex scene out of nowhere, which is unexpected. 

It's a good film and all the acting and spy-fiction make it enjoyable, but it's very long and slow. 

THE GOOD: Great acting, nice 60's mood and atmosphere. 

THE BAD: Slow, long, a bit confusing to follow, and a bit all over the place. 

OVERALL: Fairly enjoyable, but not a must-see. 

MOVIES LIKE IT: The Bank Job, Valkyrie, The Debt 

ONE SCENE METAPHOR: There's a scene near the end that I feel really intense and suspenseful for, but I'm not quite sure why exactly it's suspenseful. I know they're about to reveal the spy in a couple of seconds, but I'm not really sure how or why or how we got here.

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