Bridge of Spies, 2015

I could not have been more bitterly disappointed with this film!  Following on the heels of Captain Phillips it also follows in its footsteps, with that same old, untrustworthy, hero-worshipping, patriotic message, although Captain Phillips is a high-action drama dealing with a a contemporary issue, and Bridge of Spies conforms to the genre of the underplayed, slow-moving, spy thriller, period piece.

I fail to understand why a brilliant actor like Tom Hanks allows himself to star in these thinly-veiled propagandist films, films in which American protagonists are depicted as the proverbial ‘knights in shining armour’. Such films rely, quite ridiculously in my opinion, on ‘call-in-the-cavalry’ plots. In both films the ‘cavalry’ is a one man band, but the message is the same; raise the alarm, sound the bugle, the cavalry will arrive to save the day. Glamourising dirty deals is an unhelpful depiction of realpolitik. We could do without this kind of one-sided, Hollywood nonsense.

As pure entertainment Mark Rylance puts in an intriguing performance and no one will be surprised that Hanks does his lines very well. The tension is there, though many will find it too long. I just wish talent would be more selective. I expect more of Hanks. My disappointment is palpable!

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