Directed by Grant S. Johnson, “Agent Game” is a hotchpotch of a spy thriller that tries to apply multiperspectivity but falls on its face. The film straightaway jumps into the middle of the action and lacks cohesiveness completely. While everything is made clear at the end, the film’s execution is no less than a puzzle that makes complex what could have been an interesting plot.
CIA Agents Harris (Dermot Mulroney) and Bill (Jason Isaacs) are trying to get information out of Omar Abadi (Barkhad Abdi) at a black site. They are assisted by Visser (Annie Ilonzeh), and all three answer to Olsen (Mel Gibson), who is at the top of the command chain. Omar is held for receiving a large amount of money for his resistance group, the Crescent Democratic Front, which aims to oust the dictator, Bandar el-Mizdawi. But it seems that this amount of money came from a group that only associates with terrorists. The trio tries to get Omar to give in to the charges despite it being apparent that he has no prior information and is clean. It is made clear that Bill and Visser have different motives and apply their own approaches to manipulating Omar while Harris, Bill’s partner-cum-friend for years, observes on a screen from a nearby room.
Omar is ultimately killed by Visser under the excuse of defending herself from being shot. What follows is the revelation that Visser has her own orders from Olsen, and they include killing Bill too. And so she shoots him as well in the interrogation room. This whole thing is observed by Harris, who makes a run with the footage of the whole incident and escapes before Visser and two guards (formerly thought to be working for Harris and Bill) can get hold of him.
Elsewhere, we see three private agents on their way to capture a person. This is also on order from Olsen. Later, we see Kavinsky (Adan Canto), Miller (Katie Cassidy), and Reese (Rhys Coiro) bringing the person in via air. Also, Kavinsky has been receiving encrypted messages since they were putting the person on the plane. Later, it is revealed that the person is none other than Harris.
Omar’s interrogation, followed by Harris’s capture, are both parts of Olsen’s plan, which in turn is following orders from Langley (CIA headquarters). Omar is a sacrifice as a part of a deal struck between the CIA and El-Mizdawi (the very dictator that Omar and his organization intend to overthrow). El-Mizdawi would allow the CIA access to his resources to bring down Al-Qaeda (whom Mizdawi hates as well). In return, the CIA would have to stop those trying to overthrow him, e.g., Omar. Olsen is given the responsibility to handle the operation and, with loose ends never an option, he does all in his power to have a “clean-up,” i.e., kill everyone associated with this operation without a trace.
Harris reveals that the team (bringing in Harris) would be intercepted by Visser after landing, killed, and deemed KIA. But this doesn’t happen as the team sees the content in the footage and decides to work with Harris to foil Visser’s plot. This video would prove Visser and her seniors guilty of killing a CIA operative, which, in this case, is Olsen. Olsen, however, doesn’t know anything about this footage.
What follows is a gunfight between Visser and her men and Harris and the trio (Kavinsky, Miller, and Reese). Visser is killed by Harris. Despite Olsen’s best efforts to kill everyone at the location, including a drone strike, Harris makes it out alive along with Kavinsky and Miller. Reese isn’t able to make it. But to Olsen, everyone is dead, and the secret is buried underground forever.
Two weeks later, Olsen receives a video feed that shows Visser killing Bill, proof that he can compromise him to the CIA big-time. Realizing that he is being tracked, he looks around and recognizes a white van. Despite being shot at, the van and its occupants (Harris, Kavinsky, and Miller) escape unhurt. The film ends on a cliffhanger with Olsen contacting a man and telling him, “We have a problem.”
‘Agent Game’ Ending Explained
“Agent Game” is clearly driven by gunpowder rather than a plot. The film tries to establish mystery but doesn’t dedicate time to that motive. As we mentioned in the beginning, multiple perspectives have been applied to add to the intended effect of a spider spinning the radials of its web and slowly moving towards the center. But what is at the center? A clichéd cliffhanger.
The footage of Visser killing Bill will compromise Olsen for the CIA. But things won’t end there. If the video leaks, the CIA itself will be compromised. Who knows how many heads are behind this? After all, to acquire resources from a questionable source, no matter what the motive, requires some strings to be pulled, strings that go really deep. Moreover, this isn’t really what is expected from an intelligence agency, right? So, the reason for Olsen’s panic is not the fact that he is compromised, but the ripples that this compromise will create. In all probability, the person whom he calls at the end of the film is also from the CIA. But we don’t know what office he holds. Be that as it may, he is as knee-deep in this compromised situation as Olsen, if not more. There are chances this person is the CIA’s point of contact for Bandar el-Mizdawi. Clearly, if the video leaks, there will be a lot of chatter, and sooner or later, things will come to light, perhaps even the CIA’s involvement in war crimes. This is the only piece of commentary that the film offers, i.e., how the government blames a foreign country for its own devious crimes. But the film only scratches the surface level of this and is rather lost in its own narrative.
Inversely, those at the CIA, including Olsen, handling this operation will no doubt bring down their wrath on Harris, Kavinsky, and Miller. There won’t be any hiding this time. It is imperative for them to recover the footage at any cost to avoid any issues that could question their very authority. So, it is important for the three of them to reach out to their sources too. Harris already mentioned about his friends in France, who dug out the very letter sent to the CIA station in Qatar from Bandar el-Mizdawi’s intelligence chief. Kavinsky and Miller too will need all the help they can get. And all of this calls for one thing: a sequel.
‘Agent Game’ Sequel Possibility: What’s Next for Harris, Kavinsky, and Miller?
If there is a sequel, it should have Harris, Kavinsky, Miller, Olsen, and the mysterious person whom we saw at the end of the film. Perhaps, the movie will deal with Harris, Kavinsky, and Miller working together to join the dots and trace the breadcrumbs that will help them uncover the CIA’s under-the-table dealings, not just with Bandar el-Mizdawi but with other terrorist organizations. Olsen will face death in all probability, but not before he comes face-to-face with Harris. Furthermore, we can expect a romantic angle between Kavinsky and the Millers since they had a rough start, which is this usual norm for a budding love relationship in an action thriller, right?
From all we know, the unknown face, alongside Mel Gibson, will turn out to be another household name in action movies, a trend that we have been picking up of late in low-budget action films. Take Bruce Willis and Liam Neeson, for instance. In any case, let’s hope that “Agent Game 2” will be able to redeem the lost cause of its predecessor and give us more action that is more cohesively woven into its plot and not just for the sake of it.
“Agent Game” is a 2022 spy thriller directed by Grant S. Johnson.