The Courier

The Courier ★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

The Courier 9/14
* I became aware of this film around March when I was comfortable to go to Drive-Ins again but missed it. I am a huge Benedict Cumberbatch fan and this looks like it could have potential but otherwise I an going in blind. I got this as a 99 cent rental on AppleTV+.
* I love this beginning scene that transitions from Soviet rally to to him following and then approaching the Americans. Benedict immediately takes the screen and is a but goofy but enjoyable presence. 
* The movie hums along as an interesting fun spy film. The relationship between Oleg/Alex and Cumberbatch’s Greville Wynne is pretty good. Their friendship carries the middle of the film. 
* As a history buff, I found it really enlightening and entertaining to see the Cuban Missile Crisis from a British/CIA perspective. The fact this was based on a true story makes all more interesting.
* The escape scene was enthralling at times as you see the plan fall apart slowly then quickly. The way it uses this to transition to a darker more morose prison film. Those scenes connect emotionally as we see Cumberbatch being tortured and his wife eventually gets to visit him. Then we get one of the strongest scenes of Oleg/Alex and Greville with the latter revealing the world is safer because of their sacrifices. 
* Overall, this was a fine film that I enjoyed but didn’t fall in love with. There are large portions of this film that just moved along and it gets a bit stale. There are some fun spy sequences and Cumberbatch has a fun nervous energy throughout. The ending was a bummer and the film flips emotionally into a sad movie. As a history buff, I didn’t know about this but it worked as a film without much ability to elevate beyond some brief enjoyable highs. The fun historical nature bumps the film up slightly for me. 2 1/2 to 3 stars.