Jane and I usually watch one TV series together, and at the moment that’s Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Panorama+. I’m more into it than she is because, to be fair, she’s much more of a hardcore Trek fan than I am. She has issues with disrespect for the canon in this latest outing. We just got done with the episode where the crew gets sucked into the doctor’s weird childhood fantasy novel, and even I had some trouble getting past that one.
So on Sunday night we decided we’d have a look at Operation Mincemeat, the film adaptation of a book I read a couple of years ago and really enjoyed. It tells the story of the deception operation to convince Hitler that the allies were going to invade Greece rather than Sicily, and involved an elaborate scheme to plant fake documents on a dead body and float it off the coast of Spain.
It’s an absolutely rip-roaring yarn and the book cracked along like a fictional adventure while also being, as best I recall, a really good social history.
The film adaptation got some pretty snarky reviews, but I don’t much care for the opinions of film critics so I was willing to give it a go.
It was fine.
Not the best film I’ve ever seen, but not the worst adaptation either. There were a couple of clunky moments of exposition which were a bit inexplicable given the amount of money and talent which went into this production, but maybe all the best scriptwriters were off working on Breaking Bad or something.
A bigger issue for me was the way the screenplay spun up a couple of romantic throughlines that had no place in the book, presumably no place in real life, and were more than a bit disrespectful to the real individuals involved. Oh, and there was this weird espionage subplot that pops up about three-quarters of the way through and seems to have no reason for existing other than to add a bit of salt and pepper to the storyline and maybe to spice up those romantic arcs I mentioned.
All of this aside, and I was able to put it aside, it was an enjoyable couple of hours. I never tire of watching the Nazis get their arses kicked, and it was good fun to watch Ian Fleming as a character in the background, putting together the earliest building blocks of his 007 franchise.
It’s not available on the streamers yet. We rented it for about 6 or 7 bucks. I didn’t resent paying for it, but you could probably wait until one of the platforms grabs it up in future.
I saw this in the cinema, and really enjoyed it, although like you I found the romantic subplots fricking weird and unnecessary.
Aaaaaaages ago there was a movie about Ian Fleming's early career, in which Sean Connery's son played Fleming, and this idea came up in that movie as part of a scene about his work for MI6. In the Ian Fleming biopic it was a throwaway "Don't be ridiculous Fleming!" line in response to the idea and that was it, and we were left to assume that it never progressed beyond a crazy idea.
The biopic was released long before the documents on Operation Mincemeat were declassified and we discovered that this was something they actually put into action, so I was quite amazed when I watched this and realised not just that they went through with it, but the lengths they had to go through to achieve what amounted to a war time hail Mary pass. It really highlights how desperate they were that this was even entertained, never mind executed.
The movie is on Netflix in the US and I enjoyed it. Also saw A Call to Spy about Vera Atkins, equally good.
Thought Strange New Worlds was way better than Woke Trek Discovery. And the finale was a slick alt timeline telling of one of maybe the best episodes of original Star Trek
"I never tire of watching the Nazis get their arses kicked" its one of my favourite genres.
Im loving Brave new Worlds and as another hard core trek fan I'm interested in both yours and Jane's take on the final ep of the season.