Review – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The big final payoff is everything. What’s the point of covering yourself in detergent to zip down a slip-n’ slide, unless you’re going to make a big splash in the pool at the end? ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ isn’t worth lathering up for because there is no big slash pool of glory at the end, and it’s a long bloody slip-n’ slide.

During the Cold War a British secret agent George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is pulled out of semi-retirement to try and track down a Soviet agent who has embedded themselves in the top brass of the intelligence agency MI6.

The story promises plenty of espionage and mystery, but you have to drudge through a lot of bland drama to get anything interesting. The ending doesn’t justify over two hours of Oldman just staring into the distance and I was really disappointed.

The cast are great but it’s a shame they’re not given anything to work with considering their talent. Oldman, John Hurt, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Ciaran Hinds, David Dencik and Colin Firth are an acting tour de force wasted.

There is a bit of romantic man love in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ that is perfectly fine, there is nothing better than seeing two people in love – same sex, mixed sex, mi-sex, it doesn’t bother me. It did start to boarder on the ridiculous though when it seemed that every male character was in love with someone else. It felt like the characters weren’t afraid of the Russians, they were more worried that Craig wasn’t scrawling “I heart George” in the back of his secret agent notebook.

‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ is like watching a large candle burn down to nothing and then wondering why there weren’t any fireworks. Maybe I was expecting too much? Considering the cast and the subject matter it may be a case of too much of a good thing, which in the case of ‘Tinker Tailor Solider Spy’, produces a lot of yawning.


‘Tinker Tailor Solider Spy’ is released 19 January 2012


The Popcorn Junkie