Thursday, September 23, 2004

spy game: all zip no zing

High-concept movie veteran Tony Scott helms Spy Game with blind ease. If you're looking for quick vacuous entertainment, look no further. This movie has all the sheen and zip you'd expect in a Friday night popcorn movie. Familiar conspiracy theory elements of paranoia, loyalty and betrayal are mixed with a fairly uncommon approach of using flashbacks for the majority of the film. Pitt and Redford don't share a lot of screen time, but their iconography does most of the work for them. There's a lot of product placement (Fujifilm, Coca Cola), naughty digs like "31 flavours", a sly use (although anachronistic) of the opening credits of Baywatch, and a variety of locations serving as alternatives (Casablanca, Morocco becomes Beirut; Shepperton Studios house the CIA office interiors). Brits David Hemmings and Charlotte Rampling enjoy small parts. The subtitles on the DVD go for a toss when the Dire Straits song Brothers in Arms becomes Soldiers in Arms (so much for irony). And there's another use of the vertigo zoom. For pure entertaining superficial product, look no further. Don't get me wrong though: it takes a great deal of skill and talent to execute a finely oiled piece of entertainment like this.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.