Phil Alden Robinson is the very definition of having one or two blemishes on an otherwise spotless record as a writer/director. Just look at that resume — Field of Dreams, The Sum of All Fears, Bill Lustig’s Relentless — and realize that he also wrote Rhinestone and Ghost Dad.
Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes were the co-screenwriters, coming up with the idea of this movie while they worked on WarGames. Once Robert Redford got attached, this went from just a movie to an event-packed picture with a dream cast.
Redford plays the fugitive Martin Brice/Martin Bishop who has been on the run since 1969, when he and Cosmo (Ben Kingsley) were busted for distributing conservative funds to various liberal causes. Now, he leads a team of security specialists that includes former CIA man Donald Crease (Sidney Poitier), teen hacking savant Carl Arbogast (River Phoenix), phone phreak Irwin Emery (David Strathairn) and conspiracy theorist Darren “Mother” Roskow, played by the perfectly cast Dan Aykroyd.
After two government agents reveal that they know who he is, Bishop and team must steal a black box that can get through the encryption of any computer system. And oh yeah — Cosmo is still out there and wants revenge.
One of the first movies to send PR contacts an electronic media kit — on a floppy, it was 1992 — the computer parts of Sneakers aren’t as essential as the camaraderie of the cast. Becca refers to this most as a quintessential 90’s movie with a wonderful selection of actors and I totally agree.