Spy Game (2001)

DailyView: Day 87, Movie 150

Decided that this morning would be a great time for the DailyView to dive into a little espionage. Spy Game is a thriller starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt, directed by Tony Scott.

According to IMDB, “CIA operative Nathan Muir (Redford) is on the brink of retirement when he finds out that his protégé Tom Bishop (Pitt) has been arrested in China for espionage. No stranger to the machinations of the CIA’s top echelon, Muir hones all his skills and irreverent manner in order to find a way to free Bishop. As he embarks on his mission to free Bishop, Muir recalls how he recruited and trained the young rookie, at that time a sergeant in Vietnam, their turbulent times together as operatives and the woman who threatened their friendship

This was a lot of fun. While it was fun, there are the typical spy movie clichés here. All of the CIA agents seemed to be nowhere nearly as competent as you would expect they should be. Robert Redford just kind of ran rings around them. There was a countdown clock until Bishop was going to be executed that popped up on the screen every once in awhile (the first time the four hour time variance seemed to be really quick). These are thriller tropes we have seen before.

However, Redford is so charming and Brad Pitt is excellent that they overcome any minor plot contrivances that might be in place. You do enjoy watching the supposedly retiring Redford work his magic on the others in the CIA and get away with it. I would have liked a little more of a conclusion to the story as I wondered what Redford was going to do next.

Catherine McCormack made a short, but significant appearance here as a connection for Brad Pitt that made him question what he was doing. She was very good too and she did have some good chemistry with Pitt.

Overall, Spy Game is a flawed movie, but one that is an enjoyable watch if you do not allow yourself to be bogged down with some of the issues the film has. Redford and Pitt are tremendous together as a sort of Hollywood generational pairing.

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