The insecurity of the
modern world has brought John le Carré back out of the shadows. Following Tinker Tailor redux, A Most Wanted Man and the crackerjack
hokum of TV’s The Night Manager, this
mid-list potboiler finds the author trading shamelessly on Western suspicions
about Mother Russia, tossing troubled couple Naomie Harris and Ewan McGregor
into the geopolitical cut-and-thrust after they befriend vodka-gulping heavy
Stellan Skarsgård during a make-or-break Moroccan getaway.
Director Susanna White favours a generic spy-movie look: those chilly blue filters
surely need resting now. Yet she works smartly with her actors: while Skarsgård wolfs down great
handfuls of scenery, McGregor effectuates a thoughtful transformation from
ineffectual tourist to man in the field. Not even the gifted adaptor Hossein
Amini (The Two Faces of January) can
convince us it’s anything more than second-string le Carré – meat and potatoes,
where others have brought us caviar – but we’re still reeled in, patiently and
capably. Our Kind of Traitor is now playing in cinemas nationwide.