Movie review: The Courier
THE COURIER (PG13)
A spy thriller lives or dies by how much dramatic tension, suspense and intrigue it can ratchet up over its running time.
Unfortunately, The Courier - which opens in cinemas here tomorrow - does not deliver on those accounts.
This may be the true story of the two men responsible for defusing the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, one of the greatest international conflicts in history, but the package on display is generic and underwhelming.
Unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) is recruited by MI6 to form a covert and dangerous partnership with Soviet informer Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) in an effort to provide crucial intelligence needed to save the world from the brink of mass nuclear destruction.
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Most of The Courier is executed in workmanlike fashion, rendering two-thirds of it deathly dull.
The cast is fine, but the film never finds the momentum required to reel us in until consequences catch up with the characters and some entertainment value is injected at the end.
For a Cold War-era espionage offering that is more high-energy and less forgettable, turn to Bridge Of Spies instead.