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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

SPIES OF WARSAW (2013)

Like one of those WWII espionage pics about a Nazi spy who can’t get his superiors to believe his secret info on the upcoming Normandy Invasion, this British mini-series, set in pre-WWII Poland, finds its French operative unable to convince his superiors that a Nazi invasion will come not against the well-defended Maginot Line but thru the supposedly impenetrable Belgium woods. A fresh take on an overworked subject, and it gets you thru the first half of this not-so-hot adaptation of Alan Furst’s Spy-vs-Spy novel. But by Part Two, an ill-chosen, chemistry-free cast; lax megging; and lack of any discernible French, Polish or German flavor wears off any novelty that remains. David Tennant is particularly off his game, narrow-shouldered and passionless, with little urgency in the field or between the sheets. And what’s with the shooting & staging of the action scenes? Were they farmed out to apprentices?

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Try George Seaton’s surprisingly strong THE COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR/’62.

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