Legacy of Lies (2020)

Posted in Reviews by - October 12, 2020
Legacy of Lies (2020)

European spy thriller with some decent fisticuffs – delivered by the Accident Man and Triple Threat coupling of Scott Adkins and Tim Man – and a twisting storyline set amongst the backdrop of the poisonings of Sergei and Yulia Skripal by a Russian nerve agent, Novichock, in the UK in 2018. First-time writer-director Adrian Bol pulls no punches in taking a strong anti-Russian stance, where a covert Russian agency is shown to be silencing journalists uncovering governmental corruption. Adkins plays Martin Baxter, a former MI6 spy haunted by a ballsed-up sting resulting in the death of his girlfriend, leaving him to raise his daughter on his own. Now 12 years old, Lisa (Honor Kneafsey) acts as his manager/fixer as he earns money as a bouncer and cage fighter. Martin is soon forced to face the errors of his past when his daughter is kidnapped by Russians and he is used as hired muscle to retrieve incriminating files for them, hotfooting from South London to Kyiv with his old buddies at MI6 tracking his tail. As espionage thrillers go, this doesn’t quite have the urgency of a Bourne film, or the sort of intrigue you might find in a John le Carré story. Visually, it feels like an indie take on a Chris Nolan film, complete with thudding score and a moody, urban élan. It’s quite effective, but the lack of clear direction for some of the characters does make the film feel, at times, a little disorientating. The father-daughter relationship at the heart of the story is neatly observed and convincing, and Adkins’ distinctly zesty fight scenes add vigour to the spy film formula.

Legacy of Lies is released on DVD and digital HD in the UK on 12 October 2020 courtesy of Signature Entertainment.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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