Spy Game Collector’s Edition



By: The Dweeb


July 2002

DVD Features

Video: 2.35:1 Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0

Audio Commentary,
Behind-the-scenes Footage,
Deleted Scenes,
DVD-ROM Features,
Web Access 

Theatrical release: 2001
DVD released on 4/9/2002 by Universal
Running time of 127 minutes

Starring: Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack, Marianne Jean Baptiste, Stephen Dillane, Larry Bryggman 

Director: Tony Scott

Plot: Robert Redford and Brad Pitt star as a veteran spy and his protégé. When a foreign government captures the younger man and decides to execute him, his estranged mentor must come to his rescue.



And that’s about all there is to this movie if you get right down to it. Spy Game is a decent flick, but it is mostly filled with backstory and the actual event this film centers around is only a small portion. Its a fast paced movie, and the viewer gets thrown right into the plot, not knowing much of anything, and slowly the gaps get filled in as it progresses. Well, not all of them.

Its a very frantic film as its a race against time. The music drives us throughout different periods in recent history exploring the relationship between the two CIA agents Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt) and Nathan Muir (Robert Redford). We see how they meet up in Viet Nam, and develop a rocky relationship while working together. Tom loves to buck the rules and egg on his mentor.

Because its such a fast paced film, if you miss anything, you become lost. There are many details that are never filled in. Such as what is the motivation of the other CIA agents keeping Agent Muirhead in the dark about Tom Bishop’s whereabouts? Why does he work against them? We never really find out, as he just rides off into the sunset at the end of the movie. The way this film runs, my wife was able to walk in the middle of this movie, and watch it from there.

As far as the acting is concerned, there isn’t much to write home about. Robert Redford seems to play his typical self, like in most of his recent films. His character’s background is a mystery, as nobody seems to know when his birthday is or how many wives he’s had. That seems to be an issue for everyone else. It’s his last day on the job and we never really find out where he’s coming from, what his reasons are for deceiving his CIA coworkers.

Brad Pitt’s character is typical of Brad Pitt. In here he plays the cocky hotheaded hotshot. There isn’t much depth here as we’ve seen him play this way in countless other movies. What’s funny is his terrible haircut throughout most of this movie, which didn’t change much between the 70’s and 80’s, except for shaving his sideburns.

As I mentioned before, the editing style is very quick, and there are lots of sudden moves, zooms, etc. Very MTV like and it gets really annoying. Ever since the Matrix, films have stolen this editing style and are pounding it into the ground. I felt a lot of the long sweeping helicopter shots were unnecessary. Please make it go away, I am no longer part of the MTV generation I guess.

Spy Game is presented in very stark colors, very much like Saving Private Ryan. Colors are muted, and the film looks very grainy at times. The sound in this film is very good, as there is a great soundtrack driving the events in this movie. Gives it a very tense feel to it, I felt like I was running out of time watching it.

There are a lot of features included with this disc. There are a whole slew of deleted scenes to watch, with director commentary if you want. There is also a branching version you could watch to take you to alternate scenes while the movie is playing. The only thing I found annoying is that you have to choose which way the movie is shown. The audio was locked in for me so I couldn’t flip audio tracks around on the fly if I wanted to. This means if you want to listen to the director commentary, you had to go back to the setup menu and change the options. Most annoying.

On the whole I liked this film, but it did leave me hanging and wondering what the heck was going on most of the time. It’s not the best example of the spy genre, but it’s also not the worst either. Still worth a look.

Reviewer’s Opinion: RENT IT!!

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