Retro Review – Sneakers (1992)

It’s been quite a while but I thought I’d bring back some retro reviews. Sneakers is a tense thriller with an all star ensemble cast that offers plenty of thrills, great acting and smart writing.

 

Outline

Bishop (Robert Redford) is the leader of a security firm who specialize in hacking into companies security defenses to test their weaknesses. Think Escape Plan only more tech based and less prison tats! However Bishop’s past starts to catch up with him and he faces prison unless he and his team can steal a McGuffin for the NSA.

 

Storyline

Probably the strongest element here is the plot. With lots of twists and turns this film is never boring. Plenty of tense scenes and some superb acting make it difficult to look away. While never action packed, there is enough here to keep it’s audience hooked and even though the pace is a bit slower than more modern films, it never feels dull.

 

Ensemble Cast

This is brilliant casting. Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix, Ben Kingsley, James Earl Jones, David Strathairn & Mary McDonnell all help to elevate this movie. The team itself show great chemistry and the cast bounce off each other brilliantly. Even when faced with incredible danger, Redford’s team mates quip one liners and never lose their sense of humor. Redford is effortlessly charming as per usual and works in wonderful contrast to Poitier’s rather serious by the book ex law enforcement agent. Also a special mention has to go to David Strathairn’s blind character Whistler who tends to steal most of the scene’s he is in, offering intelligence and humor while pushing forward some heavy exposition with ease.

 

Good but not Great

It’s true that I’m a big fan of this movie and I’ve watched it numerous times but it’s not a classic. It’s very good but never quite hits great. There a lots of elements in this movie that have been done better in other films. Admittedly Sneakers came first in most cases but still. The smooth ensemble cast is excellent but doesn’t live up to Soderbergh’s ‘Ocean’s Series’ and the team mission setups don’t match the likes of Mission Impossible. As mentioned before, there are plenty of tense moments but never any big action pieces or a sense of real peril. It tackles serious issues but keeps the tone light and moves on quickly.

 

Stand Out Moment

There are one or two scenes that deserve a mention but none more so than the phone hacking scene. Bishop and his crew are on the run and asking for safe passage over the phone while the call is being traced is outstanding. This scene alone if watched as a promo trailer would be enough to hook you and make you want to watch the movie.

 

Summary

Great cast. Good script. Great acting. All help to bring a solid thriller that is satisfying to watch. Elements within the film have been done better by others but this is still a solid watch.

What did you think of Sneakers? Has it aged okay? Who was your favorite character? Let me know in the comments below!

It’s almost Halloween. Would you like to see some retro horror reviews? Any suggestions are most welcome.

 

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