To date every time Spielberg and Hanks team up it is cinema gold, but that also means that they could be do to finally have a flop. Both of them are obsessed with history so it comes as no surprise that they would team up on a historical event. Could the film, Bridge of Spies manage to be yet another piece of brilliance from the duo or will it get stuck on the wrong side of the wall?
Bridge of Spies follows an American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union. This film not only features the perfect team of Spielberg and Hanks, but an impressive cast including Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan, Peter McRobbie, and Austin Stowell who all do a great job bringing this amazing true story to life. While this is an amazing story and Spielberg and Hanks deliver a great film it is one that isn’t overly exciting. Make no mistake this isn’t a bad thing or the fault of theirs, but more of the story itself. With a story that took place mostly behind the scenes and never really featured anything overly exciting it is hard to make that tension and importance to come across on film likely how it did in real life. They have crafted a film that does in fact do it justice and bring as much as you might expect from this without ever really over emphasizing the events themselves. They both have a deep lover for history that shows here and they easily bring the events to life like they can, but it is a story that will likely only resonate with people who really care about the importance of these historical events as opposed to the average movie goer. For those willing and interested it is a compelling and perfectly acted piece that brings to life something that was unheard of and near impossible. Hanks gives a simplistic yet powerful performance with some of his best scenes alongside Mark Rylance which is really only a small portion of the film.
The first half of the film has you believing that you will be spending the majority regarding the defense of this Russian spy, but then it takes a turn and becomes something much bigger. There is a secondary story moving forward of these two Americans that feels out of place at first until you realize that it is all part of a bigger situation that will become one and the same. This sets the events into an even more compelling nature that if you take into account of the time and thought process, which Spielberg tries to convey through both situations and powerful visuals you feel why this is such a big undertaking. Hanks everyman approach to the role makes his achievements feel all the more real and unbelievable having you briefly forget this all really happened.
This is an excellent film, but as already mentioned will likely only work for some. It is important that you step into this film understanding the tone of the world during this time and the importance of what was happening. These are events that changed lives and countries for better or worse, but sadly not a story that some will be willing to sit through. Once again Spielberg has shown his brilliance as a filmmaker and Hanks brings the genius of an actor to the screen in a film that is far from the blockbuster perfection most are expecting and instead piece of effective history that some might find a bit slow and unexcited which is just sad. It is near impossible to find someone that is not a fan of one if not both of these power players in Hollywood, so check out Bridge of Spies when it hits theaters on October 16th if for no other reason than to learn about something amazing in our history, you will not be disappointed.