I’ll be completely honest up front, I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing Our Kind of Traitor. Nothing about it seems particularly interesting. The plot has no major hook, there isn’t a big star to promote it and the trailers have done very little to elevate expectations. Films like this however are often the ones that surprise you – small thrillers or dramas that you don’t know much about, and with a few actors that tend to pick good projects involved there was always the chance that Our Kind of Traitor might turn out to be my kind of film.
Whilst on a romantic trip to Marrakesh, Perry (Ewan McGregor) and Gail (Naomie Harris) meet the money handler of a Russian criminal organisation. When he gives them a USB stick containing sensitive information regarding a large upcoming deal, they reluctantly agree to hand it over to the British secret service upon their return home. Of course, their involvement doesn’t stop there, and they find themselves getting more and more involved with both the Russian mobsters and the British secret service, not confident that either of them have their best interests at heart.
There’s one thing this film does particularly well, and that’s showing you how people are feeling or what people are doing without them having to speak. There’s no clunky dialogue, but instead subtle looks or actions that imply everything you need to know. Not once did I feel spoken down to, and that’s probably a credit to the script, the direction, and the actors, who all pull their weight. Damien Lewis is especially good as Hector, a man working for the British government, who you’re never quite sure whether or not is helping or hindering the lead characters.
If I were to have one complaint about this film, it’s that there’s nothing particularly new. A few of the twists or plot developments are fairly predictable, and were quite easy to guess even a while out. A lot of Our Kind of Traitor felt like familiar ground, but the film just about gets away with it as everything’s well done.
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