Movies make a lot of things look more glamorous than they really are. The trick with that however is that they pack what would normally be a lifetime spent in an agency into a single movie, omitting all the regular and normal days in favor of the more exciting and daring moments. This could actually incorporate a few individuals and their experiences if you were really going for the most dangerous and thrilling moments, but it would still never measure up to the movies. In spy films there’s a two-hour window to get as much action, drama, and possible comedic moments in to entertain the audience and have them talking about how great the movie was when they leave the theater. In the real world those moments come very infrequently and aren’t experienced back to back.
The life of a spy usually isn’t much different from any other agent.
5. High speed car chases are very rare.
This tends to happen only when the mission goes very badly and a spy needs a way out. Even then it would be better to drive the speed limit and attempt to go unnoticed rather than draw attention and stand out like a sore thumb. It doesn’t pay to get arrested by local authorities when you’re attempting to make a getaway, and aside from that, speeding off usually makes one look extremely guilty.
4. Protocol is actually important.
Going off mission as they do in films like Mission Impossible is not how things are done. A guy that’s a loose cannon in the agency is not a viable asset, they are a liability that needs to be terminated from the agency as soon as possible. The stunts you see in movies that are performed because the plan is going wrong would only be done this way in the most dire of emergencies.
3. Spies do not lead exciting lives.
Most spies could tell you about maybe one or two really exciting moments in their lives when life was like a Bond movie. The rest of the time they’re either doing surveillance, paperwork, or are out in the field doing mundane activities that are fairly standard and don’t take the extraordinary effort that a standard mission would take. They aren’t leaping off buildings and onto airplanes every day, that’s for sure.
2. Just killing the bad guy could cause a big problem.
In the movies and in real life it’s known that each nation has their own specialized agencies at work at any given time, but killing each other without consequence would lead to a dangerous free for all. The worst that might happen at the moment is that a spy who is caught would be interrogated for a while and then thrown out of the country. There’s no killing unless someone goes off the rails and off mission.
1. Not all spies look like movie stars.
Most spies are in good shape, it comes with the job that they have to possess a high level of stamina and strength. But they don’t all have six-pack abs and they definitely don’t all look like they spend their lives at the gym.
Spies might be a step above average but they’re still people.