Hello, moviegoers! Today I want to talk about Spy Game, a movie that will delight your mothers,
wives, daughters and sisters! The reason? It stars Brad Pitt and Robert Redford, of course!
Spy Game is a spy movie (duh) that follows a soon to be retired CIA officer as he tries to save his
pupil, who has been captured by Chinesse forces during a non-authorized operation the youngster
started on his own. In doing so, he will have to trick, maniputale, lie and backstab his fellow CIA
Forget the flash, the high tech gadgets, and the evil villians who plan to conquer the world while
petting a white cat. Spy Game is a spy movie of the grim variety. It is a movie in which the way
spies get results is by manipulating the feelings of other people, taking what they want out of
them, and then abbandonning them in the middle of nowhere for wolves to find and tear appart. As
they say very early in the film: Technology is fine, but most of the time you only need a smile
a chewing gum and a knife.
It is hard to properly review this film without spoiling it. The core idea that sustains the movie
is that the Christians In Action are looking for a way to save themselves in case a Senator wants
an audit regarding the rogue operation that got the agent captured by the Chinesse. To this end,
they get his mentor, Nathan (best known as Robert Redford) to recap the agent's story, in order to
find a pretext in his past for not saving him. From then on, Spy Game alternates between flashbacks
that tell the story of Tom Bishop (also known as Brad Pitt) and Redfords actions to save him in the
If there is something this movie does great, is creating athmosphere. Redford's world is one ruled
by Paranoia, making hard decissions and taking the lesser evil. Sometimes the lesser evil is
bombing a city block full of civilians so a single misserable terrorist dies - I suppose Redford is
a Putin fan after all. We learn through the flashback scenes that he is a relentless bastard who is
always in control, always a step ahead everybody else (including fellow CIA operatives), and who
does not care who lives or dies in order to save Democracy. This guy is the source of most bad
deeds in the movie - we know the talibans, communists et al do bad stuff, but Redford is the guy we
see _doing_ bad stuff - or at least, grey stuff with many black spots.
"Did you have a Presidential order for that assassination?"
"We were killing an officer from a nation we were not at war at."
The counterpoint to Redford is Pitt, who is defined as "Somebody who joins to find out which paste
he is made off, and then does not like what he finds." He is manipulated into joining CIA's
clandestine operations by Redford, but it soon becomes apparent that he is not made of the same
evil material Redford is.
"We have 73 dead civillians, a city block reduced to ashes and a dead terrorist. I am happy."
"We got a fucked-up barometer for success, don't we?"
There is not _too much_ hollywoodesque action in this movie. There is a bit of it (it is an
American movie after all) but most of it is very down to Earth. There are some impossible
explosions for violence junkies, but the plot is advanced by people talking other people into doing
things or planting fake goodbie letters in bedrooms rather than killing people. Most of the time.
All in all, I think this movie is worth watching. The main issue I have with it is that we don't
get to see what kind of evil Redford is protecting the West against by being a soulless
motherfucker. It would serve to justify some of the dark stuff that goes on in the film and
eventually sets Redford and Pitt appart. The way it is done, we have to imagine it ourselves. Maybe
it was done that way on purpose.
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