More and more the template for a spy film is “action first, story later–if at all.” This has mostly to do with the new opportunities provided by technology, but it also says something about contemporary audiences. Old school spy stories are intended to be convoluted, meandering whodunits, and vagueness doesn’t sit well with modern viewers, myself included. That said, anybody who puts Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy next to, for instance, Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol will quickly come to appreciate the nuanced origins of the spy thriller. Tinker Tailor–Tomas Alfredson‘s follow-up to the critically successful and successfully recycled for American audiences Let the Right One In--is moody and stylish, recalling the lost art of skillful ambiguity.
Tag Archives: Tom Hardy
Brother versus brother is a storytelling device as old as the bible. It’s visceral, and offers a good majority of your audience something recognizable; any family with two boys has seen first hand the intensity of brotherly conflict, and the blind rage that only a family member can provoke. We are least capable of reason when faced with those we love. Warrior takes this simple truth and unrolls it, encompassing a battered and rusted family and an MMA tournament of champions. It illustrates the rugged barriers that inevitably rise when hard choices are mixed with stubborn, guarded men. And most remarkably, it pulls you headlong into a story as personal and emotional as you’ve ever experienced, breaking your heart and investing more of you than you had anticipated, or even felt prepared to give.
Sometimes, in some ways, it feels as though Christopher Nolan might be tricking us. After Inception‘s release there were endless conversations and references made to the film’s strenuous complexity. People spoke of it as though it were as mysterious as Lost, when the reality is that it just sort of feels that way. Sure, Nolan is weaving a complicated fiction, but are there really that many stones left unturned? Are there really that many elements of this story left ambiguous? It seems much more the case that Nolan has simply done a masterful job of convincing us that if we want to appreciate this story, we had better stay on our toes. Meanwhile, as we kill ourselves trying to appreciate every last technical tidbit, we become immersed in this: an astonishing action movie with a broken heart.