Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"The plot is repro sans style. The acting is like an Amazon parcel, half empty" | Photo: Vertigo

At a time when the Bond franchise is passing its sell by date along comes a flattering (not!) copycat. There is a formula which begins with an exciting (maybe) episode in which death by drowning appears imminent as our hero attempts to blow up an oil refinery - is that what he's doing? - in Iran. Of course, you know he'll survive because if he doesn't the movie is ashes (you wish).

Stratton (Dominic Cooper) is a beardy. He's mean and lean and all that stuff and works for an offshoot of MI6, which incorporates a M figure (Connie Nielson) who makes up the rules which Stratton breaks (natch). She lacks authority. She's a pretty woman without Julia's star quality or Judi's presence.

Copy picture

There is a team, of course, which includes a girl and a mole. So far so 007. And then there is the baddie (Thomas Kretschmann) with a Russian name who plans on drone drops of chemical bomblets over London. You have been here before, on TV or in a Gerard Butler sequel.

Stratton is one of those strong silent types with a stiff upper lip stapled to his face although he has an accent that is grammar school, not Old Etonian. Is Cooper confessing that the love interest in Mamma Mia was his twin gay brother? Every move he makes is telling Daniel Craig to get that helicopter off his lawn.

Trouble is not at t'mill, but in the script. Lines such as "There's a special place in hell for you" pollute the intelligence of Ian Fleming fans. The plot is repro sans style. The acting is like an Amazon parcel, half empty.

There are chases, not cars this time, but boats on the Thames. These are fast and furious - no, not those guys - which raises the pulse rate a fraction. However, there is one thing that irks the action pic connoisseur and that is mortality. In real life a bullet will kill you. In reel life it doesn't. If you are Bond. Or Stratton.

Or Sly Stallone.

Where did he come from?

He left his calling card. On the back he wrote, "This movie is Expendable. Come join me."

Reviewed on: 30 Aug 2017
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A British Special Boat Service commando tracks down an international terrorist cell.
Amazon link

Director: Simon West

Writer: Warren Davis II, Duncan Falconer (based on his novel)

Starring: Dominic Cooper, Connie Nielsen, Tyler Hoechlin, Gemma Chan, Thomas Kretschmann, Tom Felton, Derek Jacobi, Austin Stowell, Igal Naor, Lee Nicholas Harris, Jake Fairbrother, Rinat Khismatouline, Olegar Fedoro, Mohammed Ali, Richard Banks

Year: 2017

Runtime: 94 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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