“I was a little wary of this. If you had just shown me the trailer, and I had no idea who Tom Hanks or Steven Spielberg are, I would have been bored. It looked like another stark and sleek conflict film. The first few watches, I somehow misinterpreted the timeline as WWII instead of the Cold War, and the overabundance of such stories didn’t impress me. I just thought that it looked like it’d be drawn out and epic and not interesting. Thank God for Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Only for them, did I go see what turned out to be a truly engaging (and true!) story.
Hanks plays an insurance lawyer who is brought on to defend an accused Russian spy. Despite the rest of people involved in the judiciary process who wanted to quickly usher the spy to a conviction, Hanks’ Donovan makes his best effort to defend the man, Abel. Shortly thereafter, an opportunity arises to exchange Abel for an American spy captured in Russia. However, due to the political climate of the time, no government agent is able to officially arrange and mediate the exchange. Donovan is brought in and shipped out to figure out the details and bring all sides to an agreement.
I very much appreciate how streamlined the story was kept. Besides a couple small early branches that eventually folded into the rest of the plot, it was pretty much one through story. Some of the details of the politics involved may have been a little confusing, but the focus was kept on Hanks’ character. Sure, he may be playing the same “”everyman”” character we know and love him for, but there’s a reason we know and love him for that. That reason being that he’s damn good at it. He’s able to take us along on this fish out of water journey where he commands our sympathies.
I could have (and even might have) so easily skipped over this one, but this is one of those occasions where giving in to the sheer obsession of the movie theater was worthwhile. At the very least, it gave him a great excuse to do kid theatre with Jimmy Fallon.
Bridge of Spies – \m/ \m/ \m/”