In London, they see your every move, because why have one security camera when you can have 15 angles of the same hobo? To drive the point home that London has snooping issues, we watch a terrorist act unfold on roughly 20 security feeds during the opening credits. With a name like Closed Circuit, you would expect this to be a British Person of Interest spinoff movie. Unfortunately, there is nowhere near that level of focus on surveillance, and besides the aforementioned opening scene, it’s limited to random street camera views that really add more to the paranoia than the actual plot. To be honest, it comes off feeling more like a gimmick, meant to draw POI fans like me into the theater. And British fans, for a very British film this is.
Actually, I saw this just as much for the fact that it came from some of the same producers as the slow-burning, well-acted Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (it’s also fun to say!). While that was a great movie, by the end you felt less relaxed and more like you had just studied for a detailed (yet somehow-rewarding) exam. The premise is different here, as instead of looking for a mole in MI6, we have two defense attorneys (Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall) assigned to defend a man accused of masterminding a horrific public bombing. Both stars are more than competent at keeping things interesting. It’s nice in particular to see Rebecca Hall in a much better role than her throwaway character in Iron Man 3.
To some viewers in this Michael Bay- saturated movie culture, the purposely slower, steadier pace of the film may be a turnoff. However, the plot is still faster than Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. However, like that movie, there’s some good one-liners and dry humor to break the tension up (take notes, Elysium). All in all, Closed Circuit doesn’t break too much new ground in the suspense genre, but calling it generic would be an injustice. It’s an entry with quality that stands on its own British feet, and there’s enough satisfying twists and shadows to satisfy the little conspiracy theorist in all of us. Throw in a capable cast, and it’s time to look behind your back- in London!