movie film review | chris tookey

Line of Duty (TV)

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  Line of Duty (TV) Review
Tookey's Rating
10 /10
Average Rating
9.75 /10
Martin Compston , Vicky McClure , Adrian Dunbar
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Directed by: David Caffrey, Douglas Mackinnon, Daniel Nettheim, Michael Keillor, John Strickland, Jed Mercurio
Written by: Jed Mercurio Created by Jed Mercurio

Released: 2012
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: UK
Length: 0

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At the end of episode four, we left ferret-faced copper Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) seemingly having his fingers hacked off with a bolt-cutter by a gang of hooded thugs and their poisonous little child-sidekick, Ryan. Boringly, the glum and dislikeable Arnott was rescued in this finale when the supposedly corrupt DCI Gates organised a police rescue, and got away with all his fingers mostly intact. It seemed to symbolise Line of Duty's annoying habit of setting up ever-murkier scenarios, then wriggling its way out of delivering a real punchline. It really, really wanted us to believe that it was drilling down into a horrifying heart of darkness, but it never managed to take us there... The cast of Line of Duty were almost unfailingly morose, bitter, angry and disillusioned. Lennie James' performance as Gates has been critically hailed, but his style was severely cramped by the way writer Jed Mercurio had constricted him to a narrow emotional band that oscillated between rage and desperation. Adrian Dunbar's anti-corruption cop, Hastings, made you wish somebody would throw him out of a high window (along with the rest of the cast, if truth be told), though he did manage to smuggle in a few traces of malignant irony... The viewers got another cleverly-shot cop show with a vacuum where its soul should have been. Bring back the Scandis with their subtitles.
(Adam Sweeting, The Arts Desk, 2012)
Despite the claims of the writer Jed Mercurio and the production team, Line of Duty does feel a bit different in its new home on BBC1; it does, dare I say it, come across as a little less brainy perhaps than it did on BBC2, with a few too many moments of heavy-handed exposition. Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) seems to be the worst offender, repeatedly explaining police procedure to his team in a way which of course would never happen real life. “We all know how this all works,” he tells Arnott and Fleming at one point, before informing them all over again How This All Works.
(Ben Dowell, Radio Times, 2017)

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