Directed By: Tony Scott
Written By: Michael Frost Beckner
Staring: Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack, Stephen Dillane, Larry Bryggman, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Matthew Marsh, Todd Boyce, Michael Paul Chan, and Garrick Hagon
Technology gets better everyday. That’s fine. But most of the time all you need is a stick of gum, a pocket knife and a smile. -Nathan Muir
This is a Tony Scott movie? Really? Yes, it is. Aside from the occasional countdown of the clock and the every once in awhile manic shot this was a very restrained film for Scott. Spy Game was more of a classic espionage tale involving two main characters that made the movie just as much about them as about the mystery and suspense. A simple story told in a very complicated way with excellent actors telling it made this a surprisingly good movie.
Brad Pitt and Robert Redford receive the highest rankings in my book of actors. To have both of the them in a movie together, in roles that really allowed them to showcase what makes them each so exponentially brilliant was all a girl who loves cinema could ask for. Redford takes the role of an aging and retiring CIA agent and makes him come alive. Though about to retire he clearly hasn’t lost of any of his knack for understanding the spy world, when meanwhile everyone else makes the mistake of underestimating him. Redford is the star of this film, but there are definitely two leads. Brad Pitt plays the younger agent that Redford has invested a huge part of his career in training. Pitt plays the young idealist perfectly, making him strong, individual, but still a loyalist to the cause.
While a lot of Spy Game’s tension is spent using implied action, Scott does still get to utilize a certain level of exploitive action sequences shown via flashbacks. As we learn about Pitt’s character Bishop and how he became an agent and what may or may not be the reason for the current conflict at hand is riveting. There is a comforting balance of psychological warfare, action, and characterizations.
What Scott does is a superb job of displaying the scenes back in Langley where the pencil pushers and their interrogation of Muir is just as nail biting as the actual action and tension out in the field. Redford manages to stay five steps ahead of the men in suits, but meanwhile manages to keep the audience at bay as well, making the film an invigorating ride.
Spy Game is sadly underrated and not often referred to in either Scott’s repertoire nor Pitt’s or Redford’s, even though it’s a respectable piece on all of their resumes. For an exciting and intelligent two hours of entertainment Spy Game is an excellent choice to stimulate all of your movie going desires.
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