Genre Guesstimation – Spy Game (2001)


The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre has been chosen by Keith of Keith Loves Movies and it is Spy/Espionage Films.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of April by sending them to ispykeith@movierob.net

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Keith!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Spy/Espionage Films.

“If I’m walking into a sh*t storm I wanna know which way the wind’s blowing.” – Nathan

Number of Times Seen – 2 (21 Jan 2003 and 1 Apr 2018)

Brief Synopsis – After his protege is captured in China, a spy about to retire must try and figure out how to get him freed.

My Take on it – This is a film that just by looking at the stars, one would hope that it would be a winner, but that unfortunately just isn’t the case at all.

There are a few great scenes here that show how the tricks of the trade for espionage work, but overall, this film doesn’t work.

Robert Redford and Brad Pitt are actually wasted here because of the way that the film is presented because it comes across as being too convoluted and lacks any impact that a story like this might have.

The story is interesting yet the use of time shifts take away so much from the intrigue and suspense that one would expect from a spy thriller like this.

Some films manage to use the time shifts effectively in order to enhance the story, but this film fails in that capacity and things just aren’t as great as one would hope.

Bottom Line – Even with star power like Redford and Pitt, this film just doesn’t work as well as it might have. The story itself is interesting, but it’s presented in a convoluted way that takes away from the intrigue that one could get from such a spy thriller.  The way that the film jumps around in time is quite often a good tool in presented such a story, yet in this case, it just doesn’t work and isn’t effective enough.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When the film was previewed in the summer of 2001, Brad Pitt said that it dealt with blow back from unsuccessful CIA operations and suggested that it might mean America had been the world’s leading power for too long. However, after the 9/11 attacks, Pitt was quoted as saying the movie indicated that CIA operatives were needed “now more than ever”. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Not really. This is an average spy thriller, but it jumps around too much in time which takes away from a story that could be so much more effective.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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2 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – Spy Game (2001)

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur April Finale – Skyfall (2012) – Keith Loves Movies |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2001 |

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