By Kristin Battestella
Compared to the first nearly original script Sharpe’s Gold, I should be thankful for all the things Sharpe’s Mission does well. This composite story for Eoghan Harris has all the good things from the Sharpe series, but it’s almost too much of a good thing.
Major Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean) and Sergeant Harper (Daragh O’Malley) must go on a mission to destroy a French ammunition store house. Major Ross (James Laurenson) brings in his disfigured explosives specialist friend Pyecroft (Nigel Betts) for the mission, but reconnaissance specialist Major Brand (Mark Strong) and his men, however, are reckless and wild-putting Sharpe’s mission and Wellington’s (Hugh Fraser) camp at risk. Meanwhile, a reporter from
It’s a lot yes. Everything is good, I must say, but there’s enough material in this first truly original script for two films; gypsies and murder, corruption and trials, poets and infidelity. Maybe writer Eoghan Harris and director Tom Clegg feared things would appear too thin, but there’s something for everyone instead. Trouble is the balance isn’t quite right. Things that should be developed more aren’t, and yet scenes linger where they shouldn’t. Is this film about Sharpe and Jane? Or the crooked Major Brand? Perhaps gypsies and the disfigured Pyecroft? I just don’t know. Do I like Sharpe’s
The guest cast is spot on for
Harris and Harper have their moments in Sharpe’s Mission, as well as Ramona. It’s as if the production is trying to give due to all the support in the Sharpe series. They all do lovely, but it’s just so much. Many relationships are discussed in Sharpe’s
The gypsy look could have been better or less stereotypical, but production values are on form here. This might have been one of the big budget episodes, with plenty of extras, explosions, and sets. Instead of the low budget and bleak war scenarios that Sharpe has presented,