cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy


Click for full sized poster

Buy the Poster

Spy Game

Starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack, Kimberly Paige
Screenplay by Michael Frost Beckner and David Arata
Based on the story by Michael Frost Beckner
Directed by Tony Scott
website: www.thespygame.net

IN SHORT: For the guys. [Rated R for language, some violence and brief sexuality. 130 minutes]

Director Tony Scott needs to use bigger fonts on his screen subtitles 'cuz none of the femmes in our screening seemed to have caught the part where the numbers "1991" flashed up on the screen. Had they seen it, they wouldn't have complained about story flashbacks to the year 1975 and the lines on Redford's face. Granted there is only about half a story in Tony Scott's Spy Game, which goes heavy on the visual flash and even heavier on the soundtrack mix. The sound is just as much a part of the script as the dialog is, and if the visuals don't make a helluva lot of logical sense (and there are a couple of times that they don't) who cares? We've written of "chick flicks" before and have a long standing offer to anyone who can come up with a similarly demeaning name for movies that guys like; the ones that make our dates want to scream. Such is Spy Game -- nonstop complaints afterwards from the ladies in our audience. We, on the other hand, were happy as clams.

Somewhere in China, CIA agent Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt) has turned his back on orders and broken into a Chinese prison to free a prisoner. Captured in the act, he will be dead in 24 hours. Seeking to determine the what and why of his behavior, a CIA panel summons the young man's trainer Nathan Muir (Robert Redford). Muir ain't stupid. He knows the panel is looking for a scapegoat on which to hang Bishop's acts. He knows who his friends are and, even though it's his last day on the job, he's going to call in every chit owed to him to try and save the agent that he trained.

We begin in Vietnam, 1975 where field agent Muir is teamed with Army shooter Bishop for the assassination of a Viet Cong general (Muir's regular shooter got blowed up real good, just before the assignment). Watched carefully through his years of military service, the decision is made to escalate Bishop's training at the time of the fall of Berlin. As a working pair, Muir and Bishop are well matched for skills but mis-matched for temperament. Muir is a true Company man. He's veteran of operations on almost every continent and can become invisible behind at least nine different dates of birth. Bishop has focus -- he doesn't like to do the smart thing and walk away when an assignment goes bad.

Their last mission as a team, during the fall of Beirut, introduced a new tangle to the working relationship. Bishop falls in love with Elizabeth Hadley (Catherine McCormack), who runs a refugee camp. Apparently in the spy game there is no place for relationships of the emotional kind (add four wives to the Muir short list, above). When emotion gets in the way of a mission, well, so much for partnerships. Love is love, after all, and love will out, even if the job demands total and complete devotion to the country that runs the CIA. <sigh>

So, can the old guy save the young guy without ever leaving his chair, half a world away? Will he honor an old partnership, even when his superiors tell him not to and a long awaited retirement to a nice, isolated island in the Caribbean is waiting?

Duh. Spy Game is so lackadaisically written that, it seemed to us that both Pitt and Redford were speaking in half sentences. Then again, half sentences are all that is necessary when a pair of actors has such strong chemistry on screen. Redford and Newman had it. This is the second go round for Redford and Pitt (the first was A River Runs Through It, back in 1992) and their scenes together, all flashbacks, crackle.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Nine Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Spy Game, he would have paid . . .

$6.00

dateflick for the guys.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Tony Scott
Click to buy films starring Robert Redford
Click to buy films starring Brad Pitt
Click to buy films starring Catherine McCormack
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.