Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Hopscotch (1980)

Walter Matthau Movie #6 (Dang - I hate it when I can't finish a tribute within a single month)
Synopsis: Retired operative with the writing bug eludes capture by the world’s most incompetent spy agency. 
Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “He’s about to expose the CIA, the FBI, the KGB, and himself.” 
What Did I Learn?: 1) An American without ice in his drink is unthinkable, if not unconstitutional! 2) Double agents must be drab little people – colourless. 3) FBI stands for “Fucking Ball-busting Imbeciles” 
Really?: 1) Hold on – the CIA wants to intimidate Isobel into providing them Kendig’s whereabouts, so assign the job to Follett the goofball? And he’s clearly afraid of her dog? 2) So, wait… Cutter (Sam Waterston long before Law and Order) made it clear that Kendig wasn’t a violent man, so I’m a little surprised Agent Ross would allow Kendig to hold him at gunpoint. Ok, maybe Ross wouldn’t have tried to disarm him, but how about refusing to drive him away from Myerson’s summer home or hand over his personal documents? 3) I realize Hopscotch is more of a good-natured satire of the intelligence community than a thriller, but Kendig never appears to be in very much danger, does he? 4) Ok, the CIA and the KGB have a shared interest in icing Kendig, but would they seriously work together on that project? 
Rating: Hopscotch has a few problems with its overall credibility, as well as a surprising lack of suspense (see: "Really?"), but it’s otherwise a charming and highly enjoyable comedy. Check it out if you get the opportunity. 8/10 stars.

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