The thing that sets this movie apart from the other spy thrillers that came before it is that the picture used to depict the fact that our hero, Agent Phil Lettow, spies on I Spy in the Sky from a balloon. With regard to these flying objects, the film really is revolutionary. The flying object is never seen, instead the scene is played out over long periods of time.
We are lead to believe that Phil has been assigned to look after a small child, who might be stricken with a dreadful illness and it is his job to bring him to a nearby hospital in order to protect him from a foreign nation that wants to take over the world. The film never really explains who exactly I Spy in the Sky is. The film seems to keep up with Phil’s observations as he keeps an eye on the “puppet show” that he, agent Lettow, watches.
Aided by a little girl called Cate Blanchett, agent Lettow watches I Spy in the Sky from a balloon with the aid of a satellite. Phil somehow feels that this is not quite right, and as a result he begins to look around at all the other balloon-watchers from a different perspective. The camera follows him from his perspective throughout the film, and so we are constantly made aware of the capabilities of the spy plane in which he is a pilot. Phil soon realises that he can see everything in real time, and that all the other watchers are a “little” behind.
We are then led to believe that all the other watchers have lost sight of agent Phil Lettow and are seemingly watching the “show” as it happens from a distance, and also that all of the other watchers are following the “show” rather than doing anything to actually stop it. Phil Lettow is the only one who knows that he is spying on I Spy in the Sky from a balloon, and he always pretends that they are all watching the “show” together, even when they are clearly not.
As a whole, I Spy in the Sky was a very good movie and one that has aged very well, as it has, arguably, been around longer than most of the others. Lettow’s character was very good as a foil for Pierce Brosnan’s character, and his abilities and how he could manipulate events were very effective and interestingly, as Peter Gabriel sang, “Amazing Grace” so aptly was I Spy in the Sky written.
As you might expect, the plot of I Spy in the Sky was quite complex, but the film’s action scenes were quite impressive as well. The entire movie was probably best enjoyed at about two hours, and then it can be really easy to pick up a second film to watch. By the time you reach the later scenes, where Phil Lettow is flying in a race on the gliders, and watching from the window in the hot air balloon, you will realise that it has been a rather long film.
So although I Spy in the Sky is not a very deep film, it does at least have a lot of fun, as well as using some interesting twists in its plot to keep the audience interested. The performances from everyone are pretty much all excellent, including the great big name stars, who never feel like they are playing small parts. So we end up with a great film, although the storyline is rather complicated.
Overall, I Spy in the Sky is a good film, with some good action sequences, and I would not go so far as to say that it is a good spy film. It is however a worthwhile watch, as it takes on the theme of spies from a completely different perspective, and really gets to the heart of the issue.