Spy Game (2001)

It's not how you play the GAME... It's how the Game Plays you.

Blu-ray, 2h 6min
Rating: 7.1
Votes: 148157
Languages: English, German, Arabic, French, Cantonese
Director: Tony Scott

Plots

Retiring CIA agent Nathan Muir recalls his training of Tom Bishop while working against agency politics to free him from his Chinese captors. - Jon Reeves

CIA operative Nathan Muir (Redford) is on the brink of retirement when he finds out that his protege Tom Bishop (Pitt) has been arrested in China for espionage. No stranger to the machinations of the CIA's top echelon, Muir hones all his skills and irreverent manner in order to find a way to free Bishop. As he embarks on his mission to free Bishop, Muir recalls how he recruited and trained the young rookie, at that time a sergeant in Vietnam, their turbulent times together as operatives and the woman who threatened their friendship. - ck

It's April 14, 1991, the final day of work for CIA case agent Nathan Muir before he retires. It has been a job that has not made him opulently wealthy, he planning on using his life savings of $282,000 to purchase a retirement property in the Bahamas. This day, he is called by a task force led by Charles Harker and Troy Folger to provide any personal information on Tom Bishop, a CIA undercover field agent who has just been apprehended by the Chinese government in China, and who will be executed in twenty-four hours by the Chinese on charges of espionage unless the US government claims him, which if they do means answering to what was Bishop's unauthorized operation in China. Bishop, a former US Army sharpshooter, was recruited into the CIA as a contract agent by Muir, who acted as his trainer, mentor and case agent in his early CIA career, hence the reason for Muir being called by the task force to provide personal information which may not be in Bishop's official file. What Muir does not tell the task force is that he had heard about Bishop's predicament earlier by one of his CIA colleagues, Harry Duncan, who is currently working an operation in Hong Kong. Although the task force members do not come right out and say so, Muir knows they are working on a different agenda than him, they whose main goal is to protect an imminent trade negotiation between the US and China which means possibly sacrificing Bishop as collateral damage, while Muir is determined to stop the execution and ensure Bishop's safe return as one of CIA's own and as his friend. Muir spends much of the day with the task force, which takes up much of his time to achieve his goal, but which also allows him to feed the task force information or misinformation which may assist his own cause while gleaning information from the task force which he may not know. Assisting Muir outside the war room is his faithful assistant, Gladys Jennip. Getting Bishop back to safety also means that Muir has to figure out what was Bishop's operation in China. - Huggo

Brad Pitt is reunited as a co-star with his A River Runs Through It (1992) director Robert Redford for this espionage thriller from Tony Scott. On the verge of retirement from the Central Intelligence Agency, veteran spy Nathan Muir (Redford) learns that his one-time protege Tom Bishop (Pitt) has gone rogue and been taken prisoner after attempting to smuggle a prisoner out of China. Although Muir and Bishop had once been close friends, sharing adventures from Vietnam to Berlin, bad blood and resentment developed between them, and the two men haven't seen each other in years. As his memories of their friendship come flooding back, Muir sets about arranging the rescue of his old friend from a Communist jail.

1991: the Cold War is ending. Just days before the US President is to visit China for trade talks, a CIA operative named Bishop is captured in a rogue operation at a Chinese prison. He'll be shot in 24 hours unless the President steps in. CIA honchos hunker down at Langley, controlling the damage to the diplomatic mission by hanging Bishop out to dry. Enter Nathan Muir, one day before retirement from the Agency, the man who recruited and trained Bishop. Can he find a way to get the President to free Bishop; if that fails, can he engineer a rescue? He hangs around Langley, telling stories about Bishop, as he gathers intelligence, looks for opportunities, and runs his own spy game.