Sneakers (1992)

Rating 12
Length 2h 06
Release 13.11.1992
Director Phil Alden Robinson
About Martin Bishop heads a group of experts who specialise in testing security systems. When government agents blackmail him into stealing a top secret black box, his team is embroiled in a dangerous game.


The Good

  • The cast is incredible. Like, I can’t imagine a director getting a better cast assembled. Certainly not one that includes three generations of Oscar talent.
  • In particular, Sidney Poitier was incredible. He really had that paternal vibe down. Then he went and gave Samuel L Jackson a run for his money with the use of “motherfucker.”
  • This is perfect for those who like conspiracy thrillers and heist movies, like Enemy of the State, Lucky Number Slevin and Inside Man. It’s clever and well paced with characters I really rooted for.
  • The final scene is worth everything. Think Armageddon contract negotiation but a thousand times better.
  • Even though technology has advanced, and rendered some of what is mentioned in the plot obsolete, I doubt it impacts on the enjoyment that could be had. Unlike, The Net and perhaps Hackers that don’t fare as well.

The Bad

  • It was a slow burn, which is okay, but with ‘lockdown brain’ I have tended to stick to films under the 1h 40 mark and I did find myself drifting in those first twenty minutes or so. A little tighter editing would smooth out that introduction somewhat.
  • There was a dodgy accent or two that really sounded off. In particular director favourite Lee Garlington would have been better without the European accent.

The Ugly

  • Can someone tell me what Robert Redford used to be able to get through that hot room?! Like, seriously? 99 degrees Fahrenheit and that bastard is as dry as a bone. In a high pressure situation? Bullshit, he would be as wet as Lee Evans after the first half of a gig. Yes, I know this is a weird hang-up, but in a near perfect movie, this stands out so badly.
  • I’m not sure how I feel about David Strathairn’s presentation of a visually impaired person. Why some things that were played for laughs, like talking to someone facing the wrong way, work quite well there are others that don’t sit as well with me. I’m not going to detail it here as it’s not fair for me to say its offensive and I wouldn’t want to prejudice anyone. However, if you’re as like-minded as me; you’ll know when you get to the scene I had the problem with.

Final Thoughts

This is a good movie. Not a movie you’ll watch all the time, but it’s a movie you’ll watch and think, damn I enjoyed that. I also have a sneaking suspicion that a viewer much more familiar with Redford’s back catalogue

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