FFPC6 - Spy Game

Intro by Ben Harrison

Okay, confession time: I have drunk this movie's Kool-Aid! This was one of the DVDs I packed in a Case Logic when I went off to college. I owned glasses that looked like Robert Redford's. I have a suit made out of 600g Herringbone Tweed that is useless to me in the relentlessly warm environment of Southern California. I put all my documents in Bourne Bags and trustingly hand them to my secretary at the end of every day.

This movie got me young! I was 18 when it came out and I was terrified of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars which were getting into full swing. This movie wasn't escapism per se. It is generally speaking set in the real world, the conflicts in the Middle East are pressing matters that deserve attention, but what if you could give them that attention not as a foot soldier, but as a highly trained CIA operative who is working undercover as a war photographer and even getting your photographs published on the side? What if you knew you had friends in danger on the other side of the planet and through a normal amount of office politics, a bit of document forgery, your life savings, and the use of a fax machine, you could cause a couple of Blackhawk helicopters to swoop in over hostile territory, rescuing those friends as regional power outage takes effect.

It is not safety on offer here, it is savvy. Redford plays an old guard spy who has seen it all and doesn't always need to, but can play his office mates like a fiddle if he sees some sport in it. Brad Pitt is an uncharacteristically cosmopolitan Boy Scout who really believes in what he is doing for a living and doesn't think it should get in the way of his potentially falling in love with a beautiful aid worker with a dark secret. Who among us would not want to fall in love with a beautiful aid worker with a dark secret?

But they are savvy. The world is chaotic and unpredictable, but if you are the right kind of spy you can move through it, adapt to it. The stress is fleeting and only related to getting your asset to the hit on time or evading the Stasi while your East German mark has a panic attack in the passenger seat of your Trabant 601. When you spoof the director of the CIA's signature to authorize an incursion into China by Navy SEALs, resulting in the deaths of dozens of Chinese prison guards, you just drive off the lot at Langley and there are no consequences!

Okay, maybe it is escapism, but that is often the form of comfort that a pork chop offers, and this is our latest bonus episode. Give it a listen, you beautiful Max Fun Supporter, you! If I am walking into a shit storm I want to know which way the wind is blowing! Today on Friendly Fire: the Tony Scott espionage thriller Spy Game.

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