Spy Bound

Spy Bound


Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

If you're expecting a spy movie filled with villains who have metal teeth and guys with claws for arms then you're sure to be disappointed. Spy Bound is not straight forward. In fact, it's really confusing. It sort of reminds me of Ronin in a way and is more about how secret agents do their job and live their lives than saving the world.

Husband and wife team Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassell are Lisa and Brisseau, two of France's best agents, though she's not quite sure any more. Their assignment is to blow up a ship containing guns, or is it drugs, or is it diamonds? I'm not so sure, either. It's quite hard to follow. After the ship explodes, freelance agents from another faction show up to kill them and Lisa goes to jail from drug smuggling, which is all still part of the plan.

Copy picture

The main problem is a technical one. The subtitles are white and translucent. Whenever they appear on the screen, they disappear against this light background, thus rendering it impossible to understand what is going on. Half paragraphs appear and disappear in two seconds. Come on, give us a chance to read them!

What action exists is exciting. The film opens with a particularly intense chase. Fight scenes are pretty hard, too, like the one where Cassell escapes his captors in a car doing 100mph on the motorway. However, Spy Bound focuses more on the scenes between the action, showing us what the agents feel and think.

If your expecting an ending where Bellucci and Cassell kick in the doors to the meeting room and gun everybody down, a la Raw Deal, don't hold your breath. Also, it ends a whole closing act ahead of schedule. I was quite shocked at the sudden fade out, despite several plot points not being wrapped up, and noticed an air of dissatisfaction amongst the audience.

To conclude, Spy Bound has wonderful widescreen photography, with some truly gorgeous shots, but there's nothing atmospheric, or involving about it. A wasted chance at something that could have been both unique and thrilling.

Reviewed on: 27 Aug 2004
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Inside the lives of France's best secret agents.

Director: Frederic Shoendoerffer

Writer: Frederic Shoendoerffer, OLivier Douyere

Starring: Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassell, Andre Dussollier, Charles Berling, Bruno Todeschini, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Ludovic Schoendoerffer, Eric Savin, Serge Avedikian, Gabrielle Lazure

Year: 2004

Runtime: 109 minutes

Country: France


EIFF 2004

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