While he was still in the midst of his Game of Thrones glory, Brit actor Kit Harrington used his summer break one to shoot a film. It is not such a leap of a film in that he is playing a spy, so still plenty of tension and action required of Harrington. What this film does not have that his hit HBO series did was great writing. Game of Thrones was a visual spectacle, but its foundation was the writing. Everything grew out of the story. A solid story allows actors to add layers within the tale via their characters. Here Harrington is hamstrung by a rather one dimensional spy/agent.
Years prior to the beginning of the film, MI-5 agent Will Holloway (Kit Harrington) was disgraced by being tossed out by MI-5 Intelligence Chief, Harry Pearce (Peter Firth – The Hunt for Red October, Risen), a man who used to work with Will’s father. Unlike his father, Will had only lasted one year with MI-5. He now spends his time trying to find out the entire story behind his father’s death.
Everything changes after a terrorist escapes during a seemingly simple handover. Intelligence Chief Pearce is held responsible and looks even guiltier when he disappears shortly after. Desperate, Pearce tracks down Will and asks him to help him recapture the terrorist – off the books. Time is short as there is to be an imminent attack on London carried out by the escaped criminal.
The deeper the two get into the search the clearer it becomes that there is a traitor amidst the MI-5 ranks. This twist makes the mission all that much more difficult and dangerous.
Those out there who are familiar with the British MI-5 based series, Spooks, will be feeling very familiar with this film. It is like an offshoot of the television series.
Wearing its influences on its sleeve, MI-5 follows along after other spy films like Mission: Impossible and television shows like Homeland and 24. Not bad examples to follow though the film is left with a heavy odor of “been there, saw that already” hanging over it.
Working together Firth and Harrington demonstrate some good chemistry. Where the film stumbles is due to a lack of intellectual pull in the story and some questionable decisions of how to tell the story by director Bharat Nalluri (directed 6 episodes of Spooks).
All that being said it is an entertaining watch during a snowy Sunday evening. Originally released in 2015 you can stream the film on Filmrise.