The Five Best Spy Movies of the 80s

By the 80s the spy movie was starting to change a bit from the era of the Cold War and the Soviets being the bad guys. Well, the Soviets were still considered to be the villains since they were a convenient villain, but things were still changing. For instance, the gadgets were becoming slightly more sensible even though they were still over the top and in some cases out of control. Of course James Bond was still in play, as in fact he’s been around for a long time now when it comes to spy movies, remaining a hallmark that might not be allowed to rest for a very long time to come. But in the 80s the spy movies were starting to move into realms of fiction that would have almost been seen as pure science fiction in decades prior. This was the decade where the spies were starting to become not unlike supermen and were given technological wonders aplenty to work with.

Here are some of the best spy movies from the 80s.

5. License to Kill

In the 80s a lot of things started revolving around drugs and movies were no exception since in this film Bond is after a villain that’s mixing petrol and cocaine so that it can be moved easier and without as much suspicion. When Bond goes off the rails however and seeks out revenge his licence to kill is suspended and he becomes a rogue agent. As this means he’s off the books for the most part he starts getting closer and closer to the villain, showing the bad guy that he can be trusted. Of course trust with villains is kind of a double-edged sword since it’s not all that reliable of a commodity.

4. The Fourth Protocol

The spy game seems to be one giant power play that goes on behind the scenes as much as possible and this film really touches upon that as the idea of inciting an incident between two countries is one of the driving points behind this plot. When the man that is sent to instigate the conflict between the US and England is betrayed however it comes to a head rather quickly and upon his execution the main protagonist realizes that everything that has led up this point is a giant show that meant little to nothing other than to see how far each side was willing to go in order to prove a point.

3. Eye of the Needle

It seems that attaching themselves to someone is usually the undoing of any spy. Faber is perhaps one of the deadliest in the business before he begins a dalliance with Lucy, who is quite taken with him until Faber kills her estranged husband and she finds his body. When she radios the mainland for help she manages to get through and is told that someone will respond immediately. As Faber tries to inform his handlers of his location for a retrieval however Lucy destroys the radio. As Faber tries to get away she shoots at him wildly but manages to hit him, killing Faber before he can get away.

2. For Your Eyes Only

As a spy, Bond has always been one of the most controversial and yet well-liked individuals in the spy game. Face it, this guy is suave, debonair, and yet he’s as deadly and as duplicitous as he can be to get the job done. Bond does have principles and a sense of morality but at the same time he’s the kind of guy that can easily go off the rails and do whatever he deems is necessary in the guise of doing his job. At the end of this movie he actually throws the object he was sent to retrieve off a cliff. Of course there was a good reason for doing it, but honestly, the means he uses to justify the ends tend to cost a lot of collateral damage.

1. Spies Like Us

These guys are just what they seem like in the movie, decoys. They’re supposed to be the guys that everyone goes off chasing while the real teams sneaks in and gets the job done. When they launch a missile at an unspecified location over US soil however they’re horrified to learn that they might have started a thermonuclear war. The only trick is that this launch was used to test a new system that was designed to intercept and destroy any incoming missiles. As it wasn’t sanctioned though it’s highly illegal, and somehow the guys and their allies end up sending the missile into outer space where it’s rendered harmless.

Spy movies in the 80s were like a lot of other things in this decade, they were changing and giving way to what would come in the 90s. It was a somewhat awkward transition, but it turned out okay.

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