Burned through this last night and it is pretty good.
However, it's a bit slow and underplays the spy drama element and tension a lot to the extent it's possible to forget he's one and more a businessman enjoying that ever climbing to the high life. This is an irony, I realize, as his persona in the story has difficultly decoding who or what he really is. There were a couple of scenes where he started some spy craft and I thought why is he, oh, yeah, he's a spy!
It took me a while to not expect Borat-like comments (particularly with the setting) but found Cohen's Eli likable and very watchable. The eventual and growing inner turmoil he suffers is done well; if a little overly long at times with the clear panic attacks, that would've surely drew unwanted Syrian alarm but go relatively unnoticed by those around. On the whole though, it is a bit too relaxed and goes with a near wide boy approach in which you expect Eli, or should I say Kamel, to wink at the camera with a glinting tooth at some point.
I think my biggest criticism is that this is spy-lite and had the story of been about Eli as a dodgy businessman, who used some espionage tactics to get ahead, it would've worked just as well - which is essentially what this is. Perhaps it fails by it's own intent.
I'd certainly say its one of the best real-life spy stories I've seen. Very, very few real post world war 2 spy stories are exciting, most are mundane, routine and unexciting. This was interesting and very watchable all the more so for being based upon reality.
To me, 10/10. If you want exciting but entirely fake then watch a James Bond.
Blasted through this yesterday and this morning and it was worth the watch. I also like Red Sea so this was a no brainer. It won't be for everybody as Sacha has a lot of iconic characters to his name that you can't help visualising every time he's on screen but he does play the part well never the less.
Think I will add my two cents, when you see the name "Gideon Raff" you know its going to be quality through and through. "Prisoners Of War, Tyrant, Homeland (S1) and The Red Sea Diving Resort* are all his works.
Some great TV has been coming through Israel for some years, worldwide success for the likes *Fauda* (which is brilliant) and recently playing on HBO *Our Boys* highlights that those of us like some edge to our TV, darkness and a better story-line... the middle east is the way to go.
Enough rambling from me, The Spy was Saturday night viewing after England scored the 3rd goal against the happy bunch from Bulgaria (that was a joke) .
Quickly flickered over and started ep 1, (I watched the trailer some weeks ago was eager to watch this and for Baron Cohen flex his acting muscles and a step up from likes of mindless Grimsby and The Dictator. He did not disappoint.
I was blown away, after finishing the finale like 2am Sunday, I was exhausted but well worth it.
Quality script, acting, production and storyline of a story forgotten and mostly unknown in the western hemisphere. For me (Dan) played by Noah Emmerich (The Americans, The Hot Zone) was the real highlight. A man stuck between the organization he works for and knowing full well he is probably sending them to virtual death. *The Spy* also highlights the hornets nest the middle east region is where life as no value at all due to the warring factions, religion and corruption.
More TV like this please..............................