Bridge of Spies Movie Review
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Inspired by true events, Bridge of Spies follows the story of James Donovan, American super hero, as he negotiates to bring back a captured American pilot from the Soviet Union during The Cold War.
This film has been getting quite the bit of buzz, but is it truly deserving?
Absolutely it deserves the praise it is getting, and then some. I love quality films like this that have my eyes glued to the screen from start to finish, somehow capturing my complete attention without a single super power or epic combat scene.
Asked to defend accused Soviet-spy Rudolf Abel, Donovan was reluctant. Whether or not Abel was in fact a spy was never of importance to Donovan (therefor was not of much importance to the viewer), instead, the unfairness of the case itself was brought to our attention. From the get go, we are introduced to James Donovan, New York lawyer with an on-point moral compass (not typical lawyer behavior).
This film was divided into two acts, if you will – scenes that divided the storyline up and allowed for effortless tracking of the linear timeline. The movie is paced nicely and I enjoyed the hardy dad jokes the entire theatre was in on. You know, the kind your dad would appreciate? The jokes only an actor as seasoned as Hanks (whomever is in the scene with him) can make somewhat palatable. I enjoyed each act and found each submission an integral part to the storyline. The initial trial of Abel, the reactions from fellow Americans, the request to bring back Powers, and the remaining time spent in Berlin are brilliant scenes.
When the American Government comes to Donovan and asks him to negotiate – so as to bring back captured American pilot Francis Gary Powers – he does so, and then some. The height of the film takes place on the Glienicke Bridge in Berlin.
Granted, I am no history buff, but I had never heard of James Donovan (who has also famously saved thousands from soured Cuba-United States relations) and am all for learning more about him in American schools. That’s how intriguing this film was (and how endearing Hanks managed to make out Donovan to be), it had me wanting to change the American education curriculum so we can learn more about this hero. And if the packed theatre’s standing ovation at the end is any indication, I would say they agree with me. As they say, not all heroes wear capes.