2015: The Year of the Spy

In an age of real-life spy games all over the world, from the NSA spying on our computers to the various drones that fly over our darkest secrets in warfare, the spy world is increasingly becoming one of the most intriguing (and bankable) themes in not just films, but also on television. However, while my last post was all about the small screen, this one plans to focus solely on the bigger picture (and by that I mean movies). With films like the action-packed powerhouse of Kingsman: The Secret Service, and lesser, more laughable ones like Johnny Depp's goofy flop Mortdecai, behind us, we now move into the next phase of 2015's glamorous and gun-toting collection of upcoming spy films. Here's a breakdown of some of the most-anticipated films of espionage coming soon:  

Kingsman remains to be one of the coolest and most memorable spy films of this
 generation...But what does the rest of the year have in store for us?

Spectre- Continuing on the always-rolling, always-thrilling franchise of the spy antics of Agent 007, aka James Bond, Daniel Craig returns from his last outing as Bond in 2012's Skyfall to take on his most mysterious threat yet. On another escapade of globetrotting and love-making, as Bond is known for, Spectre takes 007 on a trip down memory lane as a new threat (Christoph Waltz) pits him against dark secrets and frightening realizations about the agent's shadowy past. With newcomers Waltz, Dave Bautista of Guardians of the Galaxy, and Monica Bellucci rounding out the cast, which also includes most of the same cast from Skyfall (minus Dame Judi Dench, sadly), Spectre aims to be just as exciting and star-studded as its predecessor. Knowing little of the plot details, aside from an eerie teaser, Bond's next adventure will surely keep us guessing until its release on November 6th.   

A favorite Bond of mine, the suave Daniel Craig returns for the 4th time in Spectre

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation- While we have James Bond as the dark, serious spy franchise, we also have the ever-comical, and ever-exciting Mission: Impossible films. Known for its mindless stunts, from scaling towers to hanging off planes, and its charismatic cast led by the incomparable Tom Cruise, the M:I franchise has never ceased to bring in the fans (and the cash) with every new installment. This time pitting the IMF agents against their ultimate foe, the "anti-IMF" organization known as the Syndicate, Cruise teams up once more with fellow cast members Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames for another wild ride in the exciting and deadly world of espionage. Dubbed as their "final mission" (which usually just means that they're just getting started), there's no telling when we'll actually see the end of this money-grabbing, high-flying franchise.

Following a near four-year hiatus, Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt chooses to
 accept one of his most dangerous missions yet

Spy- Although at first glance (or at least the first 5 seconds of the trailer), this film looks to be promising with Brits Jude Law and Jason Statham playing the CIA's top secret agents, it is quickly decreased to yet another hilariously stupid outing from Melissa McCarthy. And yet, at a time where any mindless comedy, no matter what it's about, can get the tickets sold and the seats filled, this spy spoof may manage to butt heads with other big films this summer. Telling of an unassuming and innocent analyst (McCarthy), who must take to the front lines when the top spies are compromised, Spy has the credibility of director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat), as well as the star power of the comical McCarthy, the badass Law and Statham, and the beautiful and deadly Rose Byrne, to make it a promising candidate for the summer's funniest comedy. 

She was great in Bridesmaids, bad-ass in The Heat, and lacking in Tammy...so will it be
  Spy that saves McCarthy from the sea of bad writing?

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.- From the masterful director of Sherlock Holmes and Snatch, who possesses a keen eye for the stylized and exciting, The Man From U.N.C.L.E brings us in the cold winter of 1963, where spy games and nuclear weapons popped up at every deadly corner. Here we meet two of the world's finest and most dangerous agents, CIA smart-ass Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and frantic KGB sharp-shooter Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), who must team up at a time when the slightest mistake could get them both killed. In an elaborate, humorously intriguing look at spies in the Civil War, this classy reboot of the 1964 television series takes influence from the suave antics of Bond, and also looks to be as daring and hilarious as February's raunchy spy flick, Kingsman: The Secret Service. 
So Superman and The Lone Ranger walk into a bar...

Bridge of Spies- Continuing on the subject of the Cold War and all its mysteries, yet another spy film awaits to be revealed to moviegoers all around. Hiding away behind few set pictures and an eerie working title of St. James Place, the now-revealed Bridge of Spies vaguely highlights its espionage premise. From renowned director (and one of my favorites) Steven Spielberg, and co-written by the Coen brothers, the mysterious Bridge of Spies tells the true story of lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks), who must negotiate the release of pilot Francis Gary Powers, whose plane gets shot down in the deadly Soviet Union. With an odd cast from famous names like Hanks to unknowns, and an interesting tale that may turn out to be pretty exciting, this spy flick may soon be at the top of my watchlist for late this year.

Getting older and even more excellent with age, Tom Hanks looks to shine once
more in this mysterious Spielberg project

Quite a year it will be, with five films of tantalizing espionage (and maybe more hidden in the shadows of Hollywood) ready to be explored and enjoyed. From the newest and darkest tales of the sleekest agents around to the flamboyant hilarity behind director Guy Ritchie's most exciting project yet, this year has definitely become "the year of the spy". While there may be massive blockbusters from Avengers to Star Wars on the way, it's always a great feeling when you see a fresh and daring spy film sliding, climbing, shooting, or even jetpacking its way to the top of the box office.

We may have umbrella guns and fancy cars, but what ever
happened to the shoe phone? Just asking...

Stay tuned this week for my review of the newest (and most explosive) installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, as well as more reviews and other exciting things coming soon. 

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