‘Bridge of Spies’ is not your typical spy flick

DreamWorks Pictures/Fox 2000 Pictures


Touchstone Pictures

“Bridge of Spies” tells a compelling story that shies away from action and focuses more on the drama and characters.

Jason Zheng, Staff Writer

Based on its title, “Bridge of Spies,” released on Oct. 9, first seemed like it was going to be a typical spy movie. However, this movie stood out from the “James Bond” series and other films in its genre, proving that you can’t always judge a movie by its poster.

The film, which was based on true events, tells the story of James Donovan (Tom Hanks), a lawyer who is thrust into a case concerning purported Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance). In an attempt to fight for Abel’s case, Donovan eventually travels to Berlin for a trade-off that settles Abel’s fate.

The plot was engaging, immediately hooking the audience. It vies away from action and focuses more on the ramifications of Abel’s capture on his family and other people in his life.

The story also deals more with power and trust, a common element of spy flicks. These concepts are not always explored in full detail, but “Bridge of Spies” was an exception.

The film also focuses more on characters, fleshing them out and making them more relatable than most spy flick protagonists. As such, many characters are distinct from each other and memorable in unique ways.

Donovan, for instance, is a determined man who is trying to defend Abel, but because no one trusts him on his strong support, he is unsure of who he can trust. Abel is presented as a straightforward and calm Soviet Union spy who is considered to be a threat to the United States by most of the American people.

The film did have its slight flaws.

For example, it had noticeably fast pacing. The plot, while engaging, was hard to comprehend and requires close attention.

The camera angles sometimes seem too glaring, relying heavily upon panning during scenes.

Overall, the film was surprisingly brilliant, and better than typical spy movies. The movie’s plot and characters easily make up for its fast pacing.

“Bridge of Spies” is rated PG-13 for rude language and violence.

[star rating=”5″]