Article 4983 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Featuring Clint Eastwood, Freddie Jones, David Huffman
What it is: Spy thriller
When the U.S.S.R. develops a powerful new military aircraft, American intelligence recruits a veteran pilot from Vietnam to take part in a mission to steal the aircraft and bring it to American.
For some reason, I always thought this was an odd choice for Clint Eastwood; a high-tech special effects thriller just didn’t strike me as the sort of thing he’d be interested in. Having seen it now, it strikes me that the movie feels like two different movies. The first two thirds is a serious (as in non-James Bond style) spy thriller that gains its depth by having Eastwood’s character trying to come to terms with the extent to which is associates are willing to risk their own or other’s lives in the pursuit of their mission. It’s only the final third of the movie that it turns into the high-tech special effects thriller I had been expecting. This section almost feels like a lift out of STAR WARS, and though I don’t necessarily mean that disparagingly, it seems to lose its human touch in the face of all the special effects pyrotechnics. Maybe that’s why I don’t emerge from the movie quite satisfied with it all; the two sections of the movie don’t fit well together, and it’s lengthy running time (two hours and sixteen minutes) starts to wear on me as well. Reportedly, the movie was popular, but Eastwood has done much more interesting things.