Spy Game

(2001) Tony Scott – Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack, etc.

Synopsis: The last day on his job at the CIA, Nathan Muir (Redford) finds out that an old protege of his (Bishop, played by Pitt) has stumbled into a whole world of trouble. And is, in fact, going to be executed in 24 hours. Flashbacks bring action to the movie, as Redford works within the building, using his wily skills to manipulate the system and save Bishop.

Review: If you can excuse the film’s sometimes dubious political flights of fancy and vast oversimplification (rendered as stylization), you will probably be able to enjoy this movie. It’s tightly woven, and while the “flashbacks” help liven up the picture, it’s really Nathan Muir’s machinations from within the CIA building that make everything interesting. Muir’s struggle isn’t glamorous or extremely complex, but there’s a subtle brilliance to how he approaches the problem. Okay, maybe not brilliance, but cleverness. It’s a case where you know what is going to happen (more or less) but you’re not quite sure how it’s going to happen. And, accepting the movie’s bizarre assumptions, it’s quite clever and relatively fast-paced.

Rating: [•••] out of [•••••]