The Feel Good Spies
Somehow, Steven Spielberg makes the Cold War into a heartwarming tale of a lawyer turned government negotiator and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Tom Hanks is good as usual and this is one of those after-summer movies that does just enough to be decent.
The plot certainly is cliche and predictable. Most of the humor has been sucked out in the editing room I think–not like I need a lot of humor in my Cold War movie–though the drama is slow and deliberate.
Hanks defends this alleged Russian spy, so at first the movie is a civil rights movie, but then that is dropped, and it becomes about political intrigue and other such details. I think they tried to take the real-life events of one political negotiator and squeeze them into a two hour movie, which works for the a while but there are patchy places and inconsistencies. For one, Hanks’ role is written as outsider trying to deal with these massive political problems, which works for the audience who need a hero, but the character isn’t that good. It’s just Hanks being clever and smart. That’s it. He isn’t quirky or different or offbeat or anything.
In all, this is a decent movie, but it’s really predictable and really cliche. Tom Hanks is at least good, but he’s had better roles being clever and smart. Not to mention, isn’t the Cold War supposed to have more tragedy and suspense? I guess being a spy isn’t so bad if Tom Hanks is your lawyer.