Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Review

When Bridge of Spies previewed a few months ago, I was on the fence over seeing it.  Stories about spies are usually exciting and engaging, but Tom Hanks in that role didn't really appeal to me.  I like Hanks in funny roles.  He always plays endearing characters, some of my favorites being You've Got Mail, A League of Their Own, Charlie Wilson's War, or Saving Mr. Banks.  For some reason though, because of the characters in those films I have a hard time seeing him in more dramatic roles, especially a spy, and I was downright disappointed in his casting/performance of Dan Brown's Robert Langdon character.
With that being said, there isn't too much out at the theaters right now, so I did go see Bridge of Spies this past weekend.  
And I LOVED it!  It was an outstanding film.  Based on the true story of lawyer James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) who defended a captured Soviet KGB spy at his trials in the US in 1960.  After pleading the spy's case, Donavan got him a life sentence instead of the electric chair on the grounds that he might be useful in negotiations if a US spy was ever captured by the Soviets.  
During this same time, a US pilot flying a U-2 spy plane over the Soviet Union was shot down and captured.  This began a negotiations with the Soviets (and the East Germans) just like Donovan had predicted.  He was taken to East Germany by the CIA, tasked to handle the negotiations.  
This was not a story that I was familiar with, and I didn't know of James B. Donovan at all.  But I do think Tom Hanks did a wonderful job portraying this character.  He had the seriousness of a lawyer and someone in his position, but was quite endearing with a good sense of humor about the craziness of the affair.  
My opinion of Hanks in a dramatic role was proved incorrect in this film.  It's hard to believe he was once a Bosom Buddy.  


  1. I'm usually a bit iffy on spy movies just because they're exactly that... spy movies. You've convinced me with your review, though, and I'll request it go in our Netflix queue for the future.

    I've always been a Tom Hanks fan, but some of my favorite movies of his have leaned more to the dramatic: Cast Away, The Green Mile, The Road to Perdition. I'll agree about the Dan Brown role. Maybe it was more the awful hair!!

    1. I liked that it was based on at true story, and other than a bit about the U-2 planes, there really wasn't much "spying". It took place after they were caught.
      You're right about the hair!!! I had someone else in mind when I was reading those books, that his casting really bothered me. It wasn't anyone in particular, but based on the description he was FAR from Tom Hanks.

  2. I wonder was this Donovan connected to the guy that started the CIA.

    Hanks, or anyone known would've fallen to the bad casting in that Browne story. It just was backwards to the usual story. You usually have plot, characters and place, where the plot operates on the characters within a place where the only known is the place.
    I've been turning this over since I read it yesterday and kept coming to a mix of Indiana Jones and 007 with a dash of professor and came up with Gabriel Byrne. But even he would've been wrong, only less wrong. Women kinda see that Byrne might give the female lead a proper seeing too, or to use a horsey term. Ridden hard and put away wet. But Hanks hasn't that I believe.

    1. Ha! Ya, no Hanks doesn't have that. :) I don't know if I imagined Langdon like that either - but somewhere in between 007 and Tom Hanks. Maybe it's because Hanks doesn't make me think professor, either.
      It would seem like he had an "in" with the CIA with all he did for/with them. I haven't seen anything about them being related though.

  3. good to hear you enjoyed it.. we very rarely watch movies nowadays.. :(