Browse Category: Spy

RECAP: Patriot Games

Patriot Games (1992): Phillip Noyce

One doesn’t expect a family vacation to London to devolve into a worldwide run for cover from a group of irish freedom fighters too dangerous for the Irish Republican Army, but that’s exactly what happens to Jack Ryan.

In this movie, the famed CIA analyst is CIA analyst no more, but he’s dragged back into the fold after he foils an assassination attempt against a member of the British aristocracy.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Jack Ryan fights an ex-IRA member after killing the man’s brother.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Mission: Impossible-Fallout

Mission: Impossible–Fallout (2018): Christopher McQuarrie

Ethan Hunt returns to clean up the mess he left after the events of Rogue Nation. The first straight sequel in the six-deep franchise, Mission: Impossible–Fallout also returns the chief villain from the last installment in 2015.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Ethan Hunt finds that the past can haunt you, as people from his past crop up left and right, and there’s some nukes in the wind.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017): Matthew Vaughn

The surprise action hit of 2014, Kingsman: The Secret Service spawned a sequel from the same director and writers. What if the US had a private secret service? Well, you’re about to find out.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An American drug queen pin annihilates the Kingsman, forcing the Brits to join their American counterparts the Statesman.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Hanna

Hanna (2011): Joe Wright

From the director of Atonement comes Hanna , a movie about a child who can kill you eight ways from Sunday. Get ready for Joe Wright and The Chemical Brothers to bring you the best-scored action movie of the decade.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A girl raised alone in the subarctic wilderness returns to European civilization the target of a vengeful CIA agent.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde (2017): Joe Leitch

The success of 2014’s taut action hit John Wick likely got Atomic Blonde green lit. Joe Leitch was one uncredited half of the directing team behind Wick, and Charlize Theron wanted to work with him.

Armed with punishing martial arts and a relentless soundtrack of ’80s pop hits, Atomic Blonde borrows a few elements from John Wick.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: In 1989, MI-6’s top agent Lorraine Broughton lands in Berlin to recover a list of Soviet agents before it lands in the wrong hands.  Continue Reading

RECAP: xXx: Return of Xander Cage

xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017): D.J. Caruso

Sing it with me: What the world needs now/is love, sweet–XANDER CAGE MOTORCYCLE SKI SURFING.

What happens when an actor gets a little bored of his multi-billion-dollar action franchise? He works in his multi-million-dollar action franchise.

Look out, Earth, Xander Cage is back, and he’s EXTREMELY EXTREMER THAN EVER.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: XANDER CAGE SKIS JUNGLES; XANDER CAGE SLEEPS WITH HOT WOMEN; XANDER CAGE PLAYS GRENADE ROULETTE; XANDER CAGE SAVES EARTH. Continue Reading

RECAP: The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Identity (2002): Doug Liman

Based on the Robert Ludlum series of books, The Bourne Identity came to theaters 22 years its eponymous novel. More importantly, the movie arrived on the heels of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, an event that forced any movie dealing with the US government, terrorism, or Americans abroad and in trouble to be viewed through that lens.

The Bourne Identity was filmed before 9/11, and that probably saved it. Director Liman often battled with the studio, which wanted several reshoots and rewrites, and we can only imagine that a huge terrorist attack would have woven into the story had the timing worked. Somehow, the movie came out great.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A man with superior fighting skills awakens in the sea with no memory of who is, and he fights a lot of people until he finds out his identity. Continue Reading

RECAP: xXx

xXx (2002): Rob Cohen

The makers of xXx probably got sick of James Bond movies being so wussy. They wanted an American answer bred in the streets, in the projects, from the best and brightest the non-debonair classes have to offer. They invented Xander Cage.

Capitalizing on his Fast and Furious success, Vin Diesel plays basically the same character. xXx could be a Dominic Toretto origin story until he’s recruited by the NSA.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An EXTREME daredevil joins the NSA to hunt Russian anarchists determined to overthrow governments while listening to Rammstein. Continue Reading

RECAP: Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne (2016): Paul Greengrass

Strap on your puke bags, kiddos, because Greengrass and Damon are back to shaky-cam you to oblivion. After a forgettable Bourne outing minus Bourne, Matt Damon returns to the fold for a cool $25 million, and to right a few more wrongs buried in his forgotten past.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Jason Bourne returns to the grid to find out what his father had to do with Bourne’s crappy adult life as an assassin.   Continue Reading

RECAP: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015): Matthew Vaughn

Perhaps, when you saw the trailer for Kingsman, you balked at the thought of Colin “White Gloves” Firth in an action role. I did.

Turns out that an Oscar winner for Best Actor possesses some skill at acting. The old dandy nearly pulled it off.

Kingsman was enough of a feel-good action movie about murdering billions to earn nearly five times its budget, making it a sleeper success, especially considering its February release date (this film coming one year before Deadpool.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A British secret agency, no, not THAT secret agency, recruits a troubled lad to replace a fallen gentleman and help save the world from–gasp–an American. Continue Reading

  • 1
  • 2