The worry with any tv to film adaptation is that it will be a diluted version of the original. With an extended running time there is a temptation to simply just extend the preceeding formula, or simply add in as many expensive set pieces as the dramatically larger budget allows. Neither of these things are true of the Spooks movie. Yes, to some degree, it does stick to the routine of a new threat bring introduced which we watch a bold male spy travel around the country/Europe to eradicate. Yes, there are also more expansive settings and sequences. These are not bad things, however. Instead we have a film which compliments the ten series, whilst also refreshing and moderniising them. London, and her spies, have never looked this good.
Far from having a watery plot, this film is taught, tense and truly thrilling. The film has countless twists and turns, some of which are clearly signposted and easily anticipated. Meanwhile, many are shocking and surprising. Every character has depth, motive and something to hide. Gone are the days of clearcut, black and white, villains and heroes. If those days did ever actually exist – they have been replaced with more shades than 50. The plot itself is just as gripping as it’s characters, and far more conspiracy based than it’s televisual counterpart. Surely this can only be interpreted as a reflection of the world we now live in. Trying to uncover an MI5 traitor is the, wisely retained, Spooks veteran Harry Pearce (Peter Firth). 14 years on from the day he first appeared on out tv screens, he is still inscrutable and impenetrable. We wouldn’t want it any other way.
Nevertheless, it is not essential to have watched the any of the tv episodes before going to see the film. Kit Harrington plays the lead Will Holloway, a new introduction to the franchise. He fits in so well here you wouldn’t know that was the case. He is as suitably smoldering and stoic as his predecessors. There are many other new faces, Spooks was renowned for establishing the GOT trope of killing off main and beloved characters. The new cast, as well as the few of the old guard, fitin well together. However, being a fan of the show is rewarded with the treat of a famillar face in a small cameo.
All in all the film is immensely watchable, a solid and fitting addition to a much-missed and admired series.