Starring: Tom Hanks, Lori Singer, Dabney Coleman
Director: Stan Dragoti
Running Time: 92 mins
The Man With One Red Shoe is an American film about an innocent man who is randomly selected by the CIA as an intelligence target, and whose life therefore becomes mysteriously on edge as spies circle him for no reason.
A perfectly fun premise that has all the ingredients of a comedy of errors-style caper, The Man With One Red Shoe is unfortunately a major let-down from start to finish. Despite a fairly likable performance from a young and timid Tom Hanks alongside a dashing Lori Singer, this film doesn’t have all that much to offer, and really runs out of steam with a premise that we know from history can deliver incredible storytelling.
The near-case of mistaken identity that arises after an innocent Tom Hanks is spotted at an airport and targeted by the CIA is a little reminiscent of North by Northwest, the classic thriller by Alfred Hitchcock where Cary Grant is briefly mistaken for a spy, leading him onto a wild-goose chase across the country that throws up some of cinema’s greatest thrills.
The Man With One Red Shoe, despite starting with pretty much the same footing, doesn’t manage to strike up the same level of thrills. In fact, while the first act has some worth in that the now-targeted Tom Hanks is entirely oblivious that he’s become the target of a major intelligence operation, when we begin to see Lori Singer making direct contact with him, the film goes from wild-goose chase to predictable romantic drama.
In fact, there were times in The Man With One Red Shoe that I found it difficult to distinguish the film I was watching with the memory of Splash, often expecting Lori Singer to reveal herself as a mermaid rather than a CIA operative spying on a smitten Tom Hanks.
And that goes to show just how bland this story is. Apart from being indistinguishable from other films that simply look like it, there’s no captivating thrills or even cleverly-plotted romantic drama to speak of – not to mention any laughs that would mark this out as a decent comedy.
The two lead performances are perfectly fine, but for the most part, The Man With One Red Shoe is a consistently dull and underwhelming watch, and that’s why I’m giving it a 5.8 overall.