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All The Old Knives (15)

Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Jonathan Pryce, Thandiwe Newton, Chris Pine
Genre: Thriller
Author(s): Olen Steinhauer
Director: Janus Metz
Release Date: 08/04/2022 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 101mins
Country: US
Year: 2022

Eight years after the hijacking of Turkish Alliance flight 127 in Vienna, which resulted in the deaths of everyone on board including more than 100 passengers, crew and four gun-toting terrorists, CIA chief Vick Wallinger calls in one of his most trusted operatives, Henry Pelham. US forces have finally tracked down Chechen extremist Ilyas Shushani, mastermind of the hijacking, and he has disclosed that a mole inside the Vienna station leaked intelligence during the hostage situation.


LondonNet Film Review
All The Old Knives (15)

Eight years after the hijacking of Turkish Alliance flight 127 in Vienna, which resulted in the deaths of everyone on board including more than 100 passengers, crew and four gun-toting terrorists, CIA chief Vick Wallinger (Laurence Fishburne) calls in one of his most trusted operatives, Henry Pelham (Chris Pine). US forces have finally tracked down Chechen extremist Ilyas Shushani (Orli Shuka), mastermind of the hijacking, and he has disclosed that a mole inside the Vienna station leaked intelligence during the hostage situation…

“We can’t afford the embarrassment of a prosecution,” Vick tells Henry, who travels firstly to London to interview former colleague Bill Compton (Jonathan Pryce) and then to Santa Clara to question old flame Celia Harrison (Thandiwe Newton), who is now married with two children. Over the course of an evening meal garnished with sexual tension, Celia relives events in Austria and quietly proclaims her innocence.

Adapted for the screen by author Olen Steinhauer from his 2015 novel, All The Old Knives is a serpentine thriller of deadly betrayal and espionage that proves there is no room for affection in the spy game. Director Janus Metz contrasts the sun-baked warmth of Californian wine country in flirtatious present-day scenes with the wintry colour palette of fragmented flashbacks to snowy Vienna. Steinhauer’s script doesn’t rush to its sombre resolution, relishing verbal to and fros between Pine (also an executive producer) and Newton, interspersed with artfully staged sex scenes. All is fair in love, war and covert, government-sanctioned surveillance.

– Sarah Lee


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