Premise: Tom Hanks stars as master baker James Bonovan, who in the cold war must bridge the gap between the delicious German blachindla and the savory Russian vatrushka in order to create a sense of – oh wait… That’s Bridge of Pies. Sorry. Tom Hanks stars as master spy James Sonovan, who in the Cold War got in a heated dispute with rival Soviet spy about a missing vatrushka from his apartment and – no, wait… That’s Fridge of Spies… I am sooooo sorry. Tom Hanks stars as master food builder James Fonovan, who – Ok, wait, before we waste any more time, that’s Ridge of Fries we’re talking about, and you know it. Which one in particular are *you* looking for a premise to? Bridge of Spies…? Oh, OK. Tom Hanks stars are master insurance lawyer who must negotiate a deal to trade two opposing spies during the Cold War.
-Tom Hanks has been such a well-known great actor for so long that I’m not even sure if his subtle, seemingly well-acted performance in B-Spies is one of the best performances he’s ever given or one of the most half-assed? I’ll just assume it’s good. Hey, did you know Tom Hanks hasn’t been nominated for an Oscar since the year 2000? That doesn’t sound right, but it’s true. I kind of hope he gets nominated if only to make all the Oscar-related stuff more entertaining this year.
-Pretty good supporting cast (Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Jesse Plemons, Connolly from Whiplash), but whoever the guy was who played the Russian spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance?) was pretty awesome at portraying an unshakable dude. I looked it up, I guess he’s more of a theater actor than a film actor. But he was in about 15 movies I’ve never heard of since the 80’s. Good for him!
-That scene with the East Berlin street thugs (or were they West Berlin? I didn’t pay enough attention to history class or the movie to know which side they were from) was pretty intense. Being swarmed by a gang of curiously nice 50’s greasers speaking a foreign language is a nightmare I’m happy I’ll never have to experience. I don’t like guessing whether I’m about to be helped or about to be stabbed in the stomach.
-I *think* it was an intentional gag that everyone in this Cold War movie had literal head colds. Kinda funny.
-It was a very well constructed bridge.
-This was co-written by the Coen Brothers? It seems to lack, ya know, like most of their trademark charm and humor.
-Looking back at this movie that I saw a few days ago, I can only vividly remember a few specific scenes; but can easily remember the whole thing as a series of bullet points. But I don’t think I can quote a single line of this movie back from heart, short of the ones I heard on the commercials a bunch of times.
-I know that this is inspired by a true story, but the whole involving the completely underdeveloped American student character into the mix seemed like a weak injection into the story. Again, I know that the student was involved in real life, so I don’t really know what anyone could have done about it? But, I guess it’s just that every other minor character had more screen time built into their roles than that guy. Also, most people in the movie didn’t seem to care about him either, except for James Donovan.
-Fandango lied to me and said it was only going to be an hour and forty minutes, but it was actually two hours and twenty minutes. That’s probably why it felt long. Also… it’s pretty long.
Final Thoughts: It’s certainly not a bad movie, and probably one of those uncreative movies that old people will all want to go see. It’s historical, and generic looking, and mostly harmless; so I’m sure it will make a good seven Oscar noms with no wins kind of movie. It’s more of an interesting history lesson than some kind of brilliant film. It’s Spielberg on autopilot.
7 out of 10