Could this be the Four Lions of its time? Replacing our current terrorism-fueled war with a cold one? Not only do I think so but Hopscotch has the brilliant mindset in its charm and comedy. The great Walter Matthau kills it as the CIA old-hand and nearly child-like rebel against his boss. The ride carries this great performance(s) and brings on a healthy does of MASH-like comedy to something serious.
I'd love to see a slightly more intense but contemporary version of this sort of spy thriller spoof, if only today's naive western viewers could catch a true glimpse of the absurd reality of the spy biz. A little too lightweight at times toward the middle, Hopscotch nonetheless has lots of charm due mainly to Matthau's (and Jackson's) understated brilliance, as well as a solid supporting cast.
Hopscotch is a delightfully witty spy story that doesn't quite stoop to Austin Powers-esque spoof levels. Neame solidly directs the charming script, but the biggest success of this film is the ever-lovable Walter Matthau, putting in one of his greatest performances. The supporting cast of Sam Waterston, Ned Beatty, and Glenda Jackson help bounce off of Matthau. Hopscotch is definitely too funny to be so overlooked.
A sort of screwball spy spoof. Matthau has one of the great faces of cinema and its a delight to see him in this. A trifle to be sure but a nice palate cleanser before jumping back into the typically less lightweight fare one finds on Mubi. As Roger Ebert wrote "Hopscotch is a shaggy-dog thriller that never really thrills us very much, but leaves a nice feeling when it's over." Indeed.
Not enough at stake to keep me interested. Walter Matthau puts in his usual performance but he has little to work with or work off. We are meant to be on his side I assume but his belittling someone purely for being short did not endear me to him from the outset.
A very enjoyable, whimsical spy story. It only occasionally delves into the destabilizing and bumbling history of the CIA, but it does so enough to provide some tension and remind us of the very real stakes involved. The pacing is on-point, and the execution of Kendig's schemes fit the light-hearted theme just fine. Rounded up to 5 because it superbly told the story it wanted to tell, while being delightfully fun!
God, I love Walter Matthau in this. Between his performance and the constant needling of Ned Beatty's character through a series of hilarious screw-jobs Hopscotch is an unsung classic. It would be one of those underwhelmingly dull and actionless old man spy movies, but the comedic element really brought it to life.