Robert Redford and Brad Pitt star as government agents, named Nathan Muir and Tom Bishop respectively, functioning in the complex and dangerous world of spying and espionage both foreign and domestic. The audience gets an exciting view of this world as filmmakers demonstrate realistic situations and inner workings of the players in the “game” of spying. You can definitely relate to the perils of certain characters as they become caught up in large situations they can’t always control on their own. The assessments of threats and tactful appearances in the field are seen as basic needs for many situations the character’s face. Muir provides some great information gems about the spy world to Tom, but Tom must eventually find out some things for himself.
Spy Game also stars Catherine McCormack (Braveheart, Dangerous Beauty) as Elizabeth Hadley, Stephen Dillane (Welcome to Sarajevo) as Charles Harker, Larry Bryggman (TV’s As the World Turns, DieHard with a Vengeance) as Troy Folger, and Marianna Jean-Baptiste (Secrets & Lies, The Cell) as Gladys Jennip. All supporting actors put in a good performance, but Redford and Pitt have lead roles that take up most of the screen time with good chemistry in their scenes, especially important when they’re not on-screen together.
The plot, written by Michael Frost Beckner (TV’s The Agency, Cutthroat Island) and David Arata (Brokedown Palace), contains several intelligent situations and scenarios that the protagonists must maneuver through to achieve their objectives and stay safe from various hazards. Predictably, many of the best scenes have Pitt and Redford in them and it would’ve been nice to have more, but the plot functions well.
The two protagonists are kept apart for most of the film which sets up some admirable heroics for both Pitt and Redford as both meet increasingly complex challenges. You may also be able to predict a considerable amount of the plot, but the action and realism still helps the film. The plot also has a unique timeline which adds more realism and emotion for the audience.
Director Tony Scott (Enemy of the State, Crimson Tide) uses flashbacks and quick pans to enhance this strong film. The cinematography, done by Daniel Mindel (Shanghai Noon) works particularly well especially in exterior scenes and give the film a rough, realistic look.
Recommended and rated R for language, violence, and sexuality. Both lead characters have admirable traits, but Redford grounds the movie as his character Nathan Muir gets the larger share of audience attention, though Tom’s situations are never forgotten. The clichéd male teaming of an almost retired, but capable senior and his young partner hurts the originality of the plot, but only a little bit. Besides the two stars, the action filled scenarios and expert talent of the film’s crew are the major selling points of this well made film.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler