Well, no accent other than his own English accent, and whew, what a relief after the trailer for The Mauritanian. The trailer for The Courier dropped yesterday, a spy thriller in which Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Greville Wynne, a British engineer and businessman who was arrested for espionage by the Soviets in the 1960s along with this Russian contact, Oleg Penkovsky. If you’re into spy stuff, you’ve probably heard of Greville Wynne, if you’re not, he’s usually held up as a “real life James Bond” except the point is that actual spying is a lot less glamorous than tuxedos and martinis. Ol’ Bendybuns is pretty spot-on casting for Greville Wynne, a person who should, at first glance, look totally unsuited to spying, and with a name as flagrantly English as “Benedict Cumberbatch”. It’s a match made in nomenclature heaven.
The Courier premiered at Sundance last year, but its original fall release date got pushed due to COVID, and it is now supposed to come out in March, whatever that means (probably VOD). A March release date is too late for the extended 2020 awards season and too early for what will undoubtedly be an overstuffed 2021 awards season, so despite its starry cast, which includes Rachel Brosnahan and Jessie Buckley, The Courier does not look like an awards contender. It DOES look like a contender for Daddest Movie of the Year, though. Someone always gets bent out of shape when I call a movie a “dad movie”, but my dad and I do not share common taste in entertainment. I am always looking for movies I can watch while visiting my parents, because any old thing is not going to do, my dad likes almost nothing. Thus, my “dad movie” ranking system was born, as a way to keep track of movies my dad, and probably yours, might like. “Dad movie” is not necessarily a bad thing, it just means it’s a movie that could have cross-generational appeal. I doubt The Courier will be better than Cumberbatch’s other spy thriller, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but it does look like solid dad movie material.