If you have not seen this movie, don’t. I have to be very honest hear and this may have been one of the most un-enjoyable movie experiences of my life. I remember when I was around 9 years old my father took me to me to see a Tom Arnold movie titled The Stupids. That was the most painful and excruciating hour and a half of my life. I am not trying to say this movie is as bad of a film as that 1996 debacle was but it terms of my movie going experience, it is close. The story which comes from the successful novel revolves around the espionage world in the days of the Cold War. Set in England, the story revolves around an MI6 veteran, George Smiley (Gary Oldman-The Dark Knight) who is tasked with discovering an undercover soviet spy who holds a top position within the MI6 outfit. The cast is fantastic including the reliable Mark Strong, John Hurt, Tom Hardy and the usually fantastic Colin Firth. The problem with this film was not the cast but the story itself. The story was not very exciting or even intriguing for that matter. We are not told much more than the fact that there is a spy within the MI6 honchos. The story takes a while to get started and the first 10-15 minutes were extremely hard to understand and follow. It almost felt like that the director was trying too hard to be artistic. There are one or two thrilling moments at the most which are usually the staple of any good espionage film. My favorite espionage film growing up, Spy Game was everything this film was not. In comparison, this film falls flat. I was expecting twists and turns that not only excited me but made me rethink the story that was unfolding before me. This movie did none of that. To be honest, other than 10-15 minutes of the film, I was either confused or completely disenchanted from what I was seeing. The only saving grace would have been good character development but even that was non-existent. Smiley, who is the focus of the film is presented by not analyzed. Even in the last scene of the film I found myself asking who George Smiley is and what made him go. The film moved slowly and simply failed to deliver. It would appear that this Cold War thriller was colder than intended.
Sex: one couple from a distance, no nudity
Violence: Close range and graphic shooting
Language: a little cursing
Drugs: smoking cigarettes and drinking
Run time: 127 min
Grade: 1 Stars