Twist the Knife

All the Old Knives
Stars: Chris Pine, Thandiwe Newton, Laurence Fishburne, Jonathan Pryce, Corey Johnson and Nasser Memarzia
Director: Janus Metz
Scriptwriter: Olen Steinhauser from his novel of the same name
Composer: Jon Ekstrand and Rebekka Karijord
Entertainment One and Amazon Studios
Rating: R
Running Length: 102 Minutes 

For fans of actor Chris Pine and his characterization of Captain James Kirk in the “Star Trek” movies, you don’t have to worry.  A film or two beyond “All The Old Knives,” is another “Star Trek” movie. In the meantime, “All The Old Knives” is a spy thriller to watch, told in an unusual way. Director Janus Metz  takes the audience through one day in the lives of two people, and then broadens the scope by filling in details. Like watching a comet go through the sky. What is more interesting, the head of the comet, or the tail with debris? Each component is essential.

The story begins with CIA Agent Henry Pelham (Chris Pine from “Wonder Woman 1984”) who is told that a case he worked on years ago, is being reopened.  His boss (Laurence Fishburne) had been with him, there, and so was Celia (Thandiew Newton from “Reminiscence”). Henry goes to meet Celia, now retired from the government and once was close with Henry. They meet at a restaurant, and the rest of the film revolves around this lunch and what happened years ago at a terrorist hijacking of an airliner, (Flight 127) and the subsequent deaths involved at that time. It was decided that the Henry-Celia group must have had a spy in their midst to have caused the chaos at that time. Now, with a review of that incident, new facts come to light. What is going to happen now? 

Chris Pine is fine as Henry who was taken with Celia years ago and still cares. His eyes do more than dialogue, while on the other side of the table, Thandiwe Newton, speaks with facial expression. The audience can be caught up with this so that when actors Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”) or Laurence Fishburne (“Black-ish”) come on the scene, it is not remarkable and you want to get back to the two people in the restaurant. 

The story goes back and forth from the luncheon to past events and having the two participants together at a meal, makes this an interesting theme. The action parts are in the past and the logistics of an intelligence assignment is intricate and when something happens to complicate things, there are circumstances. It takes wile to pull off being a spy. There is a puzzle to figure out in this film, so be aware of things when you see the film. 

Copyright 2022 Marie Asner