Spy Game (2001)

Synopsis:  Now Bishop works for the CIA, literally.

Here’s another movie where the trailer doesn’t actually make sense when you see the movie.  In a nice change of pace, in this case the movie is better than the trailer by far.  On the other hand they stretch their credibility at points to get the human drama out of a wrinkled up prune of an ascetic emotionless case officer.  It’s sort of the age-old question of what one man (or woman) can and will do when faced with impossibly insurmountable difficulties.

The problem with this movie is that it lays a clever trap.  The trap is clever and is set for people who like clever things.  Here’s a movie with someone who beats everyone at their own game by being smart and clever and tricky.  That’s the lure to get us on Muir’s side and it’s given to us in all the trappings and name droppings of CIA lore.  We’ve already been set up for this one by another movie 9 years ago.  Is it good?  Yes.  Is it fun to watch?  Yes.  Is it basically a surrogate father and prodigal son movie?  Yes.  Is it another movie about someone pulling one over on the spooks?  Yes.  Is it Robert Redford basically playing himself, like he always does even down to the car?  Yes.  Are there really going to be happy endings for Hadley and Bishop?  No, realistically almost definitively no.  Is Muir safe simply because he was able to leave the premises?  No.  Could the jailbreak potentially irreparably damage US-China relations 6 days before an economic summit?  Almost certainly.  Would everyone he manipulated into helping likely get fired?  Yes.  Would the DCI be fired?  Yes.  Would there be a whole cluster-fuck of downstream problems because he wanted to save one man.  Yes.  Is it still a good movie despite all of that?  Yes.

I feel like I should have enjoyed it more than I did.

On the other hand do you want to see what it’d be like if he married her?