by Mark Rivers
From Jew producers Marc Abraham and Armyan Bernstein, a "suspense thriller" that is neither suspenseful nor thrilling. "Spy Game" is two hours of Robert Redford sitting in a CIA briefing room, explaining why his protege (Brad Pitt) is in a Chinese prison. Pitt's scenes are mostly in flashback, and, while there is some action, much of the script consists of long, boring conversations between Pitt and Redford, Redford and the other agents, Pitt and his girlfriend, or Redford and his bright and hard-working negress secretary.
The villains in "Spy Game" are Arabs, the White CIA agent (who, for some reason, reminds me a lot of the White agents in "The Matrix") and Chinese. Not all of the Chinese are bad, of course; in fact, there is one in the CIA briefing room, contributing a witty comment or a clever observation now and then.
Pitt is in the Chink prison for trying to spring his hippie humanitarian-aid girlfriend. She had been imprisoned for blowing up a Chinese building in London, which also happened to kill a nephew of one of the Chinese muckity-mucks. Redford springs them both at the end by spending his retirement savings on a rescue operation.
The girlfriend is never shown raped or beaten by her jailers, as I'm sure she would have been, repeatedly and in slow motion, had she been captured by Arabs, Europeans or White Southerners. Most of the action sequences take place in the Middle East, where those crazy ragheads shoot and blow each other up for no apparent reason, other than that they are simply wild-eyed fanatics who hate America's freedom and democracy.
This movie came out Thanksgiving weekend, which is a powerful box office holiday. The theatre was packed, but I could hear the audience snoring through most of the movie. Still, the TV ads for "Spy Game" will laud it as a touching drama, a hard-hitting thriller and a wacky comedy all at once. It is actually none of the above. Skip it.
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