Code Name Dancer aka Her Secret Life The original name of this film was “Code Name: Dancer”, and it was originally shown on network TV, this thriller is an effective variation on a familiar theme-the one about the former spy who is lured out of retirement for one more dangerous mission. Kate Capshaw (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) plays the reluctant secret agent; s living her new life as a wife and schoolteacher when a mysterious phone call sends her racing off to Cuba to rescue an old colleague. Her only hope lies with a former lover )s top adviser-whom she long ago betrayed in the line of duty. Little does she know that their reunion is a trap.
Great little tense thriller
Code Name Dancer aka Her Secret Life I saw this by chance while channel flipping one winter night. What caught me was the opening title sequence: a series of puzzle pieces “falling” into view from a point behind the camera. The pieces slowly built up the lead character’s face, wearing a somewhat serious (or perhaps harried) expression. That was it, I was intrigued.
I like complex plots, it keeps me focused on the story and allows me to overlook any of the less glaring errors. So I probably would have liked this in any event. But there was nothing to gloss over; for a TV movie the production quality was excellent, the timing perfect, and the direction almost perfect. The “secret life” plot line has been done to death, especially around this time with the cold war winding down. But this movie managed to put a fresh twist on it, and it’s not really part of the plot other than framing. The story is the story, and it’s a good one.
But as others have said, it’s really Capshaw’s performance that makes this shine. It’s perfectly in tune with the story, a performance that never left me wondering about motives or second- guessing the underlying setup. Throughout, she simply *is* the character, far more convincing than Matt Damon’s unconvincing superman, for instance. The lack of ridiculous fight scenes helps pull this off, but it’s certainly not the only reason.
The ending was a little disappointing, and somewhat predictable. But there was little else they could do with it; the story came to its natural conclusion and all that was left would be to roll the credits. It certainly didn’t distract from the enjoyment.
So if you like thrillers, especially in the vein of No Way Out, I think you’ll be very happy with this movie.