Spy Game

Year: 2002
Director: Tony Scott
Cast: Robert Redford, Brad Pitt
One of the kings of high concept - Tony Scott (hand reared by Simpson & Bruckheimer) - delivers a tight, highbrow, zippy and intelligent action film out of two of the worlds most respected actors and a great script. Told entirely in flashbacks, retiring CIA agent Nathan Muir (Redford) is called to give a background on his former protégé Tom Bishop (Pitt), who's wound up on death row in a Chinese hellhole after a bungled rescue operation.

Muir recounts past experiences (the bulk of the action) with Bishop everywhere from Vietnam to Beirut to try to piece together his profile. While contending with the clock ticking the 24 hours before Bishop's execution, Muir must also outwit his superiors in the CIA to find out what's going on and get Bishop out. Credible story, characters and action, two great performances and excellent spy gimmickry make it a joy to watch.

The only downfall (which could have been fixed with a simple rewrite) was that neither man ages convincingly between 1975 - the time of the first flashback - and the present day.

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