Oh crap, the Oscars are this Sunday!! … Tinker, Tailor, Soldieee….zzzzzzzzzzz

By theredraylives | February 22, 2012

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
dir. Tomas Alfredson
Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong
Three out of Five Stars

On the way to the theater (or the Redbox, as it were), make sure to pick up some 5-hour energy before deciding to sit through Tomas Alfredson’s dreadfully sluggish Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (check out the trailer here). The film is sleepwalking turtle climbing a steep hill with riveting performances, but inevitably it leaves much to be desired in terms of pacing and editing.

Gary Oldman stars as George Smiley, a British intelligence official who is forced into retirement but brought back to find a Russian mole within MI6. If anything is to keep one awake during the runtime of the film it will be Oldman’s very precise and excellent performance as Smiley (Oldman is nominated for an Academy Award for the role). He is never emotional, he is never not cautious, and every second he is on-screen Oldman creates this very deliberate and forward character who never loses his appeal. Sadly, the film that he stars in is a paltry backdrop in comparison, and while he still shines, his excellent performance is nearly lost in the gridlock the film’s pace is locked in. The supporting cast is equally enjoyable, with Colin Firth and Mark Strong turning in great performances, and with John Hurt as Control, who pretty much steals every scene he is in (actually, ‘commands’ would be a better term).

Yet, as mentioned, strong as the performances are, they are completely meaningless in this pacing and editing nightmare. It jumps around chronologically all the time without really indicating as much, which can lead to an astonishing amount of confusion. The plot is mind-numbingly slow, and a film like this has no hope of maintaining the attentions of an audience (not to mention the baffling sound mixing choices made in the film, which were distracting and sometimes inaudible, and other times too audible). By the time the ending arrives and the mole is revealed, the experience of attempting to maintain full attention on Tinker will likely be a detriment and be utterly meaningless.

More explosions or action wouldn’t make this film better- this is not a Bourne film, and any of those additions would hurt it. The plot itself, if unfolded better or unfolded in a more straightforward manner, might have been more intriguing, but the chronological hopscotch especially proved detrimental to any hope of this. Outside of the performances, there is little of note here, and that is truly what is holding Tinker back. Sadly, the film is simply forgettable, and so too will be the great work done by Oldman and the entire cast. Three out of five stars.

By Nicholas Haskins

Once again, don’t forget about the trailer. You can find this review and other reviews over at my examiner.com page. As always, you can follow me on Twitter or book my face. Also, be sure to follow along on Black Entertainment USA as I live-blog the Oscars! Coverage begins at 6:00 PM on Oscar Sunday!! See you there!!!! We are being buried beneath the avalanche of your inadequacies, Mr. Creedy!

Topics: Movie Previews and Reviews | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Oh crap, the Oscars are this Sunday!! … Tinker, Tailor, Soldieee….zzzzzzzzzzz”

  1. The Oscars 2012 – My Picks (are the best ones) | Black Entertainment USA

    [...] Descendents should have an easy win here. Ides and Tinker Tailor were both mediocre films, and the only way they deserve any kind of award is if they were based on [...]

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