I thought Joe Wright’s direction of Atonement was outstanding and the performance by Saoirse Ronan was delightful (how on earth do you pronounce that name?) and so I thought their reconciliation under an entirely new genre would be more than interesting. And in parts it is.
The first 30 minutes is intriguing, hard to unravel but with enough clues to reel you in. It transpires that Ronan and her “father” Erik (played acceptably by Eric Bana) are some Arctic based super hit squad training for their “big day”.
When Code Red is announced they set of in their separate directions with instructions to meet at a disused (and superbly evocative) Grimm’s house in a disused fairground in Berlin that affords ample cinematographic pearls.
The early scene where, upon capture, the childlike Ronan kicks some ass and escapes from a high tech “prison” in the Moroccan desert is great and you’re left thinking a treat is in store.
The ridiculously caricatured middle class family that Ronan stumbles upon and drive her from here to eternity add a new dimension and are amusing in parts (especially the daughter played by Jessica Barden) but are just too daft.
And whilst there are plenty of moments that grip, and look sublime, the truth is that from reel one to reel two it turns into a really boring chase movie.
Glimpses of fabulous scenery and photography grace the banality that follows as it becomes monumentally under-edited and, as a consequence way, way too long.
The closing stages drag forever.
Oh, and the deer.
Give me a break.
Cate Blanchett doesn’t impress, even with her green shoes.
No more than that, despite the Chemical Bothers’ fab soundtrack.