Red (2010)

Synopsis:  A husband and wife get sick of watching different movies and make a romantic covert espionage comedy.

I need to find a word for CIA exploitation films.  Ciaxplotation?  Exploitationcia?

It’s good, there’s some exposed covert operations references, a premise based on an extenuation of My Lai, an attack on CIA headquarters, the Russians, arms dealers working through the Department of Defense to control American politics.  It’s fun and light-hearted at times without becoming too campy.  I think the metaphor for love in the Cold War of 3 bullets to the chest is apt.

On the other hand it contributes little more to Intelligence Studies than watching Bond or Jason Bourne.  The public certainly has a taste for civilian paramilitary adventures.  There is definitely a niche market for straight overt paramilitary operations led by gōngyè hézuòshè soldiers to be sure but this isn’t that type of movie.  This is a movie that falls into that other, more broad category that seems to find an appeal almost across the board with western (45% gross) and non-western (55% gross) audiences.  Something about everyday people doing extraordinary things and especially showing up the established military or acronym groups.  There is always merit in examining public consumption of intelligence media but as far as actually a means to studying intelligence, this movie is not it.  What it is, however, more than makes up for that.