“Bridge of Spies,” directed by Steven Speilberg, is a drama based on true events about a Russian spy who was captured by the United States during the height of the Cold War. In the movie, Tom Hanks stars as James (Jimmy) Donovan, an insurance lawyer that is tapped to defend the Russian spy, Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), in the American Court of Law. The movie is a tale of two halves.
The first, being a courtroom drama which takes place in the U.S. and in East Germany. The second having a very political manipulation and negotiation feel, as Donovan must negotiate with both The USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and the Democratic Republic of East Germany to trade Abel for an American spy that was captured in Russia.
As far as characters go, Hanks shows again why he is such a renowned actor. However, his character was written pretty one-dimensional and has very little character development throughout the film.
From the beginning he is the moral pole that affects every other character.
This does allow for some great speeches during the movie from Donovan about the meaning of being American and how our justice system should work.
Overall, the movie was a pure drama. Most spy movies these days, like “Mission Impossible” and “007,” are full of action and suspense, but that is not “Bridge of Spies.”
This movie is half courtroom drama and half a negotiation and manipulation film. It is an interesting film with great monologues and is worth watching. However, watching it once is more than enough for this film.
Whether or not it is in the theater is inconsequential. Wait for “Bridge of Spies” to come out on Netflix.