I’ll warn James Bond fans that ‘A Most Wanted Man’ is not the kind of spy film you might be expecting. For a start it’s set in Germany, not the usual US/UK city counter terrorism setting you would be expecting. In fact this film isn’t based on a CIA team or MI6 it’s all about a German intelligence unit, not headed by a Jack Bauer action hero but a slightly hap hazard, smoking like a chimney, fond of whiskey Günther Bachman, played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
You are pulled into a world of counter terrorism where each agency (inside and outside) of Germany are fighting to get their hands on the same contacts and ‘assets’ Hamburg is not the most obvious choice for a spy thriller but is shot brilliantly for this film, the foggy docklands, underpasses and sinister looking office blocks all add to the feel of this film.
The stand out performance in this film is Phillip Seymour Hoffman who gives this broken detective extra depth. William Dafoe as a bank manager (with some very special clientele) puts in a good performance but (despite the length of the film) it feels like some material featuring his character has been cut out.
‘A Most Wanted Man’ is based on a John Le Carrè novel so there is a little bit of convoluted plot which slows towards the middle (just in time to ramp up at the end)
This film had the most packed press screening I have been in so far at EIFF which shows the amount of anticipation there is surrounding it.
‘A Most Wanted Man’ has its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Sunday the 22nd of June. For tickets and more information visit www.edfilmfest.org.uk