Our Kind of Traitor (15) – A Preview

The phenomenal success of the BBC’s super glamorous Night Manager signalled a distinct shift away from the dour John le Carré adaptations of the last century, something Our Kind Of Traitor is happy to capitalize on. So instead of Alec Guinness polishing the lenses of his glasses, we have Ewan McGregor caught up in all sorts of car chases, helicopter crashes, fisticuffs and gun fire.

Cast against type as a university lecturer out of his depth, Macgregor underplays Perry Makepeace to convincing effect, allowing Stellan Skarsgård full reign as Dima, the larger than life Mafioso accountant. Screenwriter Hossein Amini has great fun with the burgeoning friendship of the male leads, while Damian Lewis is splendidly ambiguous as the cartoonish Hector, the bastard child of George Smiley.

It’s a shame that Naomi Harris is given so little to do – a subplot involving the Makepeace failing marriage goes nowhere – but otherwise Susanna White’s competent direction offers up hugely enjoyable set pieces, a breathless journey through a myriad of exotic locations, and a pleasingly hokey narrative that rattles along to thrilling effect.

By David Vass