Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - 4 out of 5

The title for this one can be a little misleading because I thought, without seeing a trailer or doing any research on it whatsoever, it was about some sort of toy maker who makes little toy soldiers that end up becoming spies.  How wrong I was.

I have the same look on my face when Jehovah's Witnesses come to my door.

I'm kidding, of course, because in actuality, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is an espionage film based upon a novel from the 70s.  The story revolves around a secret agent by the name of George Smiley (what a pleasant name!) who is forced into retirement.  However, his trip to Florida with all the other retirees is cut short as knowledge comes to light that there was a long time mole within the organization and Smiley is out to find out who!

With a last name like Smiley, you would think it would be impossible for him to wake
up on the "wrong side of the bed."

I've never read the novel or have I ever seen the original film or television series that starred Alec Guinness as George Smiley, just throwing that out there as I have no basis for whether this film is superior or worse than its other forms.  That being said, I really enjoyed this film.  The movie is a spy thriller but it's not one of those spy ACTION thrillers.  There's not much violence (but the scenes that are violent are sharply so and come out of nowhere to really throw in a unexpected but appreciated "shock and awe" factor) so if you're expecting James Bond or, for you Mt. Dew drinkers, Triple X, to come in and throw some elbows and kick some bad dudes in the junk, this isn't the movie for you.  This movie is about real spying...the kind that has the potential to come off as boring.  At least the film doesn't show us the paperwork that goes into spying.

Okay, so they do show some paperwork.

Oldman...you are one talented son-of-a-bitch.
This movie makes me forgive you for Tiptoes.
The film tells a compelling story as we watch George Smiley try to uncover who is the mole in the organization but the strongest aspect this film has going for it is the amazing cast.  Gary Oldman stars as Smiley and just knocks the role dead...in a good way.  His performance is cool, calculating and almost predator-like in its deliverance.  If he wasn't playing a spy, you would almost think he's playing a dangerously brilliant serial killer.  Backing Oldman is some of the best of the best that the great isle of the United Kingdom has.  John Hurt, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy, Toby Jones, Colin Firth, Ciaran Hinds and Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch.  Each actor is amazing on their own, and each have proven it time and time again, but seeing them all together was nothing short of spectacular.  In fact, with all this talent in one film, it's a wonder that the film used was able to hold them all without exploding from the amount of talent that was burned onto its surface.

The look of a man trying to NOT notice that the man he is talking to has an open fly.

It's sad Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy wasn't about a toymaker who made toy soldiers that became spies and some may find the film's emphasis on story and character to be disappointing in a spy film but real spying is boring.  The reality is, spying isn't explosions, sleeping with many ladies that has sexually suggestive names and stopping evil men from taking over the world.  The reality is, spying is a giant game of tattletale.  Spies are guys who watch other countries and run to their bosses and say things like, "they got bombs" or "they just got a Kinect for their X-Box, can we get one?"  Okay, maybe they don't say that last one but spies are just dudes getting information and sharing it with other dudes.  Sometimes those dudes are other countries that shouldn't have the info and sometimes the dudes are on the same side as the guy who got the info.  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is basically just that, real-life spying.  And with the cast involved, the deep story and Gary Oldman delivering an almost hypnotic performance, this movie proves they don't need an ass-kicking machine in order to sell their espionage film.

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