College professor Perry and his wife Gail are on holiday in Morocco trying to rekindle their love when Perry has a chance encounter with a Russian mobster in a restaurant. Gail has to leave for work so Perry goes to a party where Dima reveals that he is the master of many large bank accounts for organized crime. He wants to leave the syndicate in order to protect his family from a corrupt prince with ties to high-ranking British politicians. Perry delivers a memory stick to an MI6 agent and becomes far more involved in the plot that he wished. Operating without sanction, Perry and Gail must help save Dima’s wife and children and get crucial information into the right hands before it’s too late.
2016, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 48 mins
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgard, Naomi Harris
Directed by Susanna White
From the plot synopsis, one might think this is an action-filled movie with lots of violence and intense gunplay. But director Susanna White takes a far more low-key approach which I found very appealing. In fact the only real battle sequence takes place off-camera. You’re never in doubt about what’s going on but the viewer is spared the blood and gore.
The plot is a classic wrong-place-wrong-time scenario where a single choice made by an innocent man results in his life changing forever. Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much was certainly an inspiration for this film. Ewan McGregor creates an endearing character in Perry who is initially reluctant to get involved, but once he does, goes all-in, fighting to save Dima’s family and do the right and honorable thing. Gail requires a little more convincing but eventually becomes equally invested. And you’ll recognize Naomi Harris as Moneypenny from the latest round of James Bond films.
The overall feel reminded me more of vintage cinema where the story is told through well-crafted dialog and good acting. There is a fair bit of profanity and a few brief scenes of rough sex but the R-rating is barely earned. And it certainly looked as though not a single bit of CGI was used by the film-makers. How many modern movies can you say that about? If you’re looking for a more subdued thriller; one that doesn’t tire you out with endless sequences of mayhem and destruction, Our Kind Of Traitor might must be your kind of movie.
Image quality is generally solid with highly-stylized color used throughout. Morocco is represented by spicy oranges and yellows while Paris is rendered in a drab green and London shows up in a cold, steely blue. Regardless of the setting, flesh-tones maintain a natural hue. Contrast is deep with good blacks and shadow detail. Overall the picture lacks that last degree of sharpness but it didn’t reduce my enjoyment a bit.
Audio is clean and clear but the mixers missed an opportunity to put more ambient effects in the surround channels. Everything takes place up front on a nice wide sound stage. The sub doesn’t have much to do either but again, none of this reduced my enjoyment of the film.
Bonus features total about 25 minutes and include three making-of featurettes and deleted scenes.