The one thing that struck me the most about my esteemed colleague’s admission that she has not seen approximately 99% of the Hollywood blockbusters of the past three decades was not the fact that she had somehow missed the first three Indiana Jones movies or the fact that she may be the only person born in the 1980s to not have seen The Goonies. No it was her admission that she has seen Transformers over twenty times. We all have our favorite guilty pleasures whether they be music, television, or film. Works that we know others would probably turn their nose up at even though they will always have a special spot in your heart. And even then it does not have to be something bad, just a piece of pop culture that makes everyone turn their head and look at you strangely when you declare that you have in fact watched something upwards of two dozen times, or own multiple copies of the exact same thing…you know…just in case.
So with that I begin the ongoing series of the Guilty Pleasure. Today I share with you my undying adoration of the 1992 film, Sneakers.
Sneakers is a film that treads very little new territory. Sneakers tells the story of a team of break-in experts who contract themselves out to companies in order to test that company’s security system. The team led by Robert Redford as Martin Bishop includes all of the typical stereotypes that you expect in any ensemble movie and however needless all of them may be, the actors (Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, David Strathairn, Mary McDonnell, and River Phoenix) bring added depth to the characters that makes the film just a bit more real and vibrant.
Of course they face of against the standard bad guy, here played by the always wonderful Ben Kingsley as a former friend of Bishop’s who has never forgiven him for his fortuitous absence decades prior when the two were just beginning their computer hacking days.
The plot goes through the requisite twists and turns when in the end, the bad guys lose and the good guys win. However, the film excels in several areas: the dialogue is smart, sharp, and funny; the acting is superb; the break in scenes are well directed and effective in adding suspense; and the score by James Horner fits the film extremely well lending much needed atmospherics to make the film work.
Overall Sneakers is one of those films that as I flip through the countless cable channels on a lazy Sunday afternoon, if I see it, I will stop, settle in, and watch. It’s one of my guilty pleasures.