Veteran spy Nathan Muir is on the verge of retiring from the CIA when he learns that his one-time protégé and close friend, Tom Bishop, is a political prisoner sentenced to die in Beijing. Although their friendship has been marred by bad blood and resentment, Muir agrees to take on the most dangerous mission of his career and rescue Bishop.
Americans should be embarrassed by this movie, because it can be seen by people who have grown up and lived under Communism, in the Eastern European countries, such as Latvia, Poland and East Germany. People were being exterminated on an industrial scale, in the Gulag, in the Soviet Union and China, where the exterminations, organ harvesting and forced labor continue, to this day. This film is worse than irresponsible, it is taking the focus off the real crimes against humanity and pointing the blame at the C.I.A., who is one of our only defenses against these tyrannical regimes.
When Hollywood makes a movie, it can be about everything under the sun except Communism, so how do you deal with a story about a CIA agent (Brad Pitt) who gets captured by the Chinese Communists, in China? Simple, you make the whole movie about flashbacks to Viet-Nam, Beirut and Germany, so you can still have your usual bad guys: Germans, Arabs and last but by no means least, the evil, wicked, mean and nasty C.I.A.; and you don't need to even talk about, the Communist regime in China.
Tony Scott directed and Michael Frost Beckner wrote this white-wash vehicle to illustrate Redford and Pitt's coolness while wearing sunglasses. Old pretty boy Redford is young pretty boy Pitt's controller, who wants to rescue him, before he is executed for espionage by the Chinese Communists. The evil CIA, on the other hand, doesn't want to risk an up-coming trade deal, that the U.S. President is working on, with the Chinese Communist government, so they are looking for excuses to let doll-face Pitt be eaten by the lions, so to speak. Oh My God! So in a film that could justifiably have been made into an expose of Communist humanitarian atrocities, the Beverly Hills left has decided to use it to instead, illustrate the wickedness of the C.I.A., not giving enough support to it's agents.
After all, which is more important; the Communists killing millions of innocent people or the CIA sacrificing a cute pawn, for a political expedient? The flashbacks in the movie are embarrassingly unrealistic, especially the ones in Cold War Germany, which completely neglect to mention the reason for the whole tension, to begin with, the Communist regimes in the Soviet Union and East Germany. These regimes are not even touched-on in this so called "spy thriller". There is absolutely no investment made towards some kind of background story, Redford sends Pitt on a mission to rescue an East German "asset" but, then tells Pitt to drop him, after they are already under way, to the border. This mission is just a side-show for a more important strategic move by Redford, elsewhere in Germany. One shudders to think how people who grew up under Communism, in the former East Germany, who had siblings or loved ones tortured and killed by the Stasi, who are also never mentioned, see this superficial, ideologically twisted bubble-gum piece of film making. What must they think of America?
This film proves that Communism is still alive and well, in Hollywood.