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I Spy
DVD disk
10.05.2004 By: Indiana Sev
I Spy order
Director:
Betty Thomas

Actors:
Eddie Murphy
Owen Wilson
Famke Janssen

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
American super spy Alexander Scott (Wilson) is forced to team up with an egomaniacal civilian boxer named Kelly Robinson (Murphy) in order to infiltrate the mansion of a badass arms dealer (Malcolm McDowell) who’s stolen a secret spy plane. Famke Janssen also co-stars as the cutie-pie.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Okay, this is an easy one, but I’ll use it anyway: I spy with my right eye a really lousy comedy. We’ve all seen actors lose their great looks as the years roll by (Marlon Brando) while others lose their acting chops (Marlon Brando), but I’d never thought I’d witness a once hilarious comedian stop being funny. Eddie Murphy keeps right on disappointing with his latest disaster. The frustrating part is that you could still see the remnants of a once funny man in him, but if he keeps picking awful scripts (THE ADVENTURES OF PLUTO NASH, HOLY MAN, SHOWTIME), then his stock will continue to drop until all we remember of him is that he was once very funny in a movie called TRADING PLACES. Owen Wilson, who can be very funny himself (MEET THE PARENTS, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS), is also wasted here as he’s forced to spit out the terrible dialogue in this stinker. It’s obvious that this film handed out impressive paychecks to both actors and that’s probably why they signed on; but for pete’s sake read the goddamn script before you run for the Hollywood hills with your big bag of dough.

This movie brings absolutely nothing new to the audience. It’s got silly, dull and over-long action sequences, paper thin bad guys, dumb gags and the directing ingenuity of a Scooby-Doo cartoon. Also, and this is a moot point since I know you’re supposed to let certain things slide in comedies, but the whole reason they asked this boxer to team up with Scott in the movie is to get into a fancy party, after that there is no reason he should keep tagging along and risk his life! Besides being totally unqualified for the gig, they make this mission sound like the most important thing since WWII...yeah, let’s get a cocky boxer to help out so he can muck everything up. I guess they thought it would be a quirky and funny idea…they thought wrong. Good things about the film: Famke Janssen in her skivvies, Malcolm McDowell playing an evil jerk…again, the beautiful sights of Budapest, Hungary and it’s a quick but still painful 97 minutes short. Good job Murphy, now go cash your check and make another crappy NUTTY PROFESSOR movie.
THE EXTRAS
Director Betty Thomas, an editor, two writers and one of the producers blab throughout the film in the audio commentary. The five filmmakers yuk it up and talk about how smart and witty their film turned out. It's a pretty lively commentary since there are five of 'em, but surprisingly, they never discuss why the movie sucks so bad. Next you're treated with 4 featurettes.

·"Cloak and Camouflage" (~4 minutes): The costume designer talks about the fashions in the film and how she chose what each actor would wear. Booooooooring unless you're a goddamn designer in which case...it's even more boring.

"Gadgets and Gizmos" (~4 minutes): This time around the director and some of the special effects crew discuss the cool spy gadgets and how they used green screens to pull off some of the stupid stunts. The really bad gadgets Wilson gets in the film are pretty funny. This featurette, on the other hand, is all about stuff we already know and the rest we just don't care about. Next!

"Schematics and Blueprints" (~5 minutes): A five minute odyssey in which the production designer and the gang reminisce about how they came to choose Budapest as the shooting location as well as more information about the design of that annoying spy plane. These featurettes are a snooze-fest.

"The Slugafest" (~4 minutes): Everybody freaks out about the fact that Murphy didn't need a boxing trainer, how he'd been boxing since his childhood and that he pulled it off brilliantly. Even Murphy tells us that he's a badass boxer. To be truthful, he did look and act the part very well in the film. But wait, the film is still not funny!

They cap off the festivities with some bogus trailers. Although the PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE one is still one of my favorites.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Yech, what a waste of my time. Do not rent this garbage, with XXX, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 and now I SPY, it doesn’t look like 007 has a lot to worry about. This is a really poor example of a buddy movie, spy movie and comedy and a really great example of what certain actors will do if paid well enough. The extras just made me relive the last 97 minutes of this absurd movie and needless to say, made me even more nauseous. Keep it up Eddie and you’ll be joining Steve Guttenberg in the Hollywood abyss.
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