A boring spy flick saved by a few strong performances and a couple brutal action sequences. I hate to judge a film by its advertising, but that’s what got me out to see this. It was marketed as a fun, action-packed, stylish and quirky spy movie. This is far from the case. There are large chunks of time where there is no action. And much of what we do get is fairly short, and not much more than was shown in the trailer. Only a vicious fight scene late delivers. This is a bloody affair with realistic choreography. People grab what’s closest as a weapon. There are no knockout blows, Stabs wounds bleed, but don’t kill immediately. Combatants get exhausted and can barely stand. Some of the other action sequences are a bit more stylish, but they’re over too fast. The film itself is filled with drab colors and stoic characters. Only James McAvoy seems allowed to have much fun. And he does to the fullest. He brings a mischievous gusto to every scene he’s in. The story has an odd structure that just doesn’t work. The plot should be straightforward, but it gets surprisingly convoluted. Motivations aren’t properly explained. And the multiple twist-ending isn’t as clever as intended.
*1/2 out of *****