“Whatever happened to the idea of shame?”
Part 2 of David Hare’s Johnny Worricker trilogy, Turks and Caicos followed on from the events of Page Eight albeit somewhat less engagingly for me. Bill Nighy’s ex-MI5 man is holed up in the Caribbean living the life of Riley under an assumed name but his lobster-eating peace is shattered when a shadowy CIA man reveals he knows who Johnny is and sucks him into a morass of shady big business deals with some shady US big businessmen and he finds himself having to make his own deals in a desperate attempt to maintain his cover.
Though the tropical island setting looks amazing with all its luxury hotel trappings and Hare has secured quite the swanky cast – Winona Ryder, Christopher Walken, Rupert Graves and Helena Bonham Carter joining returnees Nighy and Ralph Fiennes as the unscrupulous Prime Minister – this is nowhere near the same tightly plotted, intelligent spy thriller as its predecessor. The plot relies on far too many contrivances to hook into the larger narrative of the trilogy and rarely gets out of third gear, there’s no adrenaline here at all.
What there is is some extremely classy dialogue to be sure, and some intelligent musings about profiteering from the war on terror. But the overall feel is rather lackadaisical, perhaps aiming for a laid-back Caribbean attitude (and missing) and wasting its talent. It’s great to see Ryder on screen again but her financial PA lacks real depth for us to really connect with her fate, Bonham Carter is wasted as Worricker’s ex-girlfriend who is co-opted back into his life to provide the information he needs to gamble his way out of trouble, only Walken really gets to shine as the double-dealer. Him and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s hotelier that is. Very much a set-up to what one hopes will be a better final act.