CIA operative Nathan Muir (Redford) is on the brink of retirement when he finds out that his protege Tom Bishop (Pitt) has been arrested in China for espionage. No stranger to the machinations of the CIA's top echelon, Muir hones all his skills and irreverent manner in order to find a way to free Bishop. As he embarks on his mission to free Bishop, Muir recalls how he recruited and trained the young rookie, at that time a sergeant in Vietnam, their turbulent times together as operatives and the woman who threatened their friendship.Written by
In the scene where Nathan enters his office after the CIA employees rummaged through it we can see director Tony Scott's faded red hat on the right next to the door. See more »
China has enough experience with cholera that it would not require foreign aid personnel to help deal with it. In any event, it's highly implausible that a foreigner would be allowed into a Chinese prison without being adequately screened. See more »
[inside a CIA briefing room]
We need the press on this like we need a third tit.
[inside a CIA briefing room]
You using the other two?
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The film is dedicated to Elizabeth Jean Scott, Tony Scott's mother, that died that year. See more »
There are many reasons why we like a movie or not. For me, this is the case in witch small things were enough to like it: the two main actors, the places in which the action occurs, and the fact that it has more to do with a love affair, in a tragic atmosphere than about spies. Well, of course this is about spies - two of them - and mostly about the relation between them; if they are similar enough to understand each other, they are also different enough to generate some tension in the relation.
Maybe this is more about how the characters move around each others than about action or intrigue. In fact this is so obvious that the way in which the story is told is mostly in flashback, with Muir (Robert Redford) introducing all of them and narrating part. So, the story is the story and the spy game is what Muir does within the CIA, in 24 hours or so. The distinction is important because if you think of this as a traditional spy movie (maybe like the Bourne Identity or Supremacy) it has two obvious flaws for the genre: the plot is very simple (maybe predictable) and there's no bad guy, no one to kill or to revenge; there's also almost no genuine action, and, as far as I can remember, Bishop (Brad Pitt) only fires one weapon in the whole movie. Maybe what mislead most of the people was the title of the movie, and maybe that's why most of them didn't like it. However, in my opinion, this is a very good movie, with strong leading roles and a compelling story.
No gadgets, no arms, no villains, no action...oh, no,this is a whole different game, and it's a serious and a dangerous game: the game of people and their relations.
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