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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Four Minutes

The Courier (2020) on IMDb

Plot Overview

During the Cold War, GRU officer Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) suffers trepi­dation over deranged Premier Khrushchev (Vladimir Chuprikov) being in charge of their nuclear arsenal, so he secretly offers monitoring intel to the CIA. Agent Emily Donovan (Rachel Brosnahan) enlists British MI6 Agent Dickie Franks (Angus Wright) for assistance, but their hoped-for gold mine is too closely watched for any­one to approach him. They decide to use an amateur courier volunteers
needed to avert suspicion, settling on a hapless sales­man Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumber­batch) who can well penetrate Soviet business as all industry uses machinery and machines require parts. He does his thing in Russia while Penkovsky pretends to use him for industrial espionage against the west. A mole in the CIA, how­ever, raises a red flag to his handlers in Moscow when he perceives the CIA is milking a new source. The KGB in turn takes a closer look at Penkovsky and his business associates.


briefcaseThey say if you want something done, ask some­one who's already busy. That lines up with, (Prov. 22:29) “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” The sales­man already travels around with papers and info; what's a little more added to the mix? And when President Kennedy gets a gander of the photos the guy relays showing nuclear-tipped missiles being deployed in Cuba, he reacts with an embargo causing the Soviets to blink avoiding a fiery con­fla­gration. Thus Wynne achieves some standing in the annals of history w.r.t. President Kennedy. He was not some average Joe Schmo during the missile crisis.

This “not stand[ing] before mean [i.e. average] men” is developed during his recruitment when the reluctant sales­man is forced to consider the four minutes warning the UK would receive before the Soviet missiles fall. Enough time for his wife Sheila (Jessie Buckley) to take shelter in their base­ment, perhaps, and for his son Andrew (Keir Hills) to duck into the school's fall­out shelter, but the only good shelters are government ones. It's not as if the community equipped the school to be a research institute with a protected shelter under it, on the order of a James Rollins thriller where:

unknown to most, the facility was more than its façade. There were five under­ground levels, the same number as were shining above. The laboratory bunker below hid the corporation's greatest secret, with the bottom­most floor capable of with­standing a nuclear blast. (179)

He gets to do something to stand above the ordinary.

Production Values

” (2021) was directed by Dominic Cooke. Its screenplay was written by Tom O'Connor. It stars Benedict Cumber­batch, Merab Ninidze, and Rachel Brosnahan. Cumber­batch's per­for­mance was good as expected. All the British actors were skilled as a matter of course.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for violence, partial nudity, brief strong language, and smoking through­out. It was filmed in Prague, Czech Republic. Its run­time is 111 minutes. Its setting is dark and grey as befits its times.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

Aside from bordering on predictability, this was a good film set in trying times. Its historicity leaves one feeling like he's just dodged a bullet. It makes one appreciate peace and the sacrifices others have made to secure it. A good story well acted out.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Rollins, James. The Demon Crown. Copyright © 2017 by James Czajkowski. New York: Harper­Collins Pub., 2017. Print.