Hi everyone, Bryan Here…
The year 2015 gives us yet another Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg movie called ‘Bridge of Spies‘ with an added bonus of the Coen Bros. serving as co-writers. Now with a cast and crew like this, I expect something that would live on forever and win all the awards come award season. That’s not really the case here though, as Spielberg’s recent directorial efforts have been lacking a bit. I’m not saying they’re bad, I’m just saying that ‘War Horse‘ and ‘Lincoln‘ were long, slow, dreary period pieces with no real momentum, despite some awards and critical acclaim.
That being said, I bet any of you a hundred king-size Snicker’s bars that you haven’t watch or even thought of those two films since they were released. This all could be said about ‘Bridge of Spies‘, which is of course, well made, interesting, fun, and well-acted, but really only worth one viewing and no more. Once it ends, you’ll immediately forget about it and start thinking of Spielberg’s next project, which a return to the sci-fi arena with ‘Ready Player One‘. I’m of the mindset that all of Spielberg’s movies are worthy of unlimited viewings, no matter what time of day or night it is.
It’s just unfortunate that ‘Bridge of Spies‘ is not one of those instances. All that being said, ‘Bridge of Spies‘ is technically top notch with Tom Hanks giving another good performance. Set during the height of the Cold War, a soviet spy named Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) is caught in New York City and put to trial unjustly. Meanwhile, the US sent some new U-2 spy planes do to take some images of Mother Russia, where one plane was shot down over the Soviet Union, where the pilot Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) survived the crash and was captured and put in prison.
Back in Brooklyn, lawyer James B. Donovan (Hanks) was forced to defend the Russian spy they caught and make sure he had a fair trial, but with the new information, he is tasked to try and make a deal to release the spies back into their country’s custody. A trade off if you will. From here, Donovan has to weave in and out of high level Russian buildings, as he tries to broker a deal, which if not executed correctly, could have started a major war. There are plenty of Spielberg-ian moments to be had, which is always nice to see and Hanks’s performance again is solid, however not on par with some of his previous work.
The script is tight and to the point, but there isn’t really any guts or memorable moments in this film. It plays for a good two and a half hours, all of which are mildly entertaining, but in the end, it’s completely forgettable, which is unfortunate, because you have Spielberg, Hanks, and the Coen Bros. here.
Worth a Look!
– Bryan Kluger