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I Spy (2002)
star Printer-Friendly version
Review Date: October 25, 2002
Director: Betty Thomas
Writer: Marianne Wibberley, Cormac Wibberley..
Producers: Mario Kassar, Betty Thomas, Jenno Topping..
Actors:
Eddie Murphy as Kelly Robinson
Owen Wilson as Alexander Scott
Famke Janssen as Rachel
Plot:
A goofy spy hooks up with a flamboyant boxer on a mission to infiltrate an international arm dealer's party. The two men don't get along at first, but ultimately...well, don't get along much. Bad guys dressed in black, a lousy soundtrack and a couple of action sequences ensue.
Critique:
Eddie Murphy's shit-streak is intact with yet another doldrum addition to the litany of unfunny comedies that he's been jerking out to us over the past few years. I hope that this movie goes down in the history of Hollywood as the perfect example of what "went wrong" with the studios over the past decade: no originality, remake fever, "cute" duos, rehashed ideas, marketing ploys, TV show movies, cross-promotions, a manufactured script to fit "name" actors and everything in between. Don't get me wrong, if you dig on generic comedy, generic action, generic bad guys, generic directing, generic spy stuff, generic twists, you might just get some kicks out of this flick (I actually got two or three myself) But if you are one of those "bizarre" people who likes new things, engaging things and...well, funny things, you might want to skip this puppy, tell your friends to skip this puppy and stop supporting the garbage that makes these people release more of this garbage year in and year out (rent FRAILTY or MEMENTO instead-original movies that need your support). Now I certainly don't want to turn this into an Eddie Murphy bash-session (see any of my previous reviews of his recent crop of shit for that), but this man is almost beyond saving at this point. It's almost like he's signing the contracts to these movies and not even bothering to read the scripts (either that or he's just not funny anymore, which is something I'd rather not believe). All Murphy does in this flick is mug for the camera, refer to himself by his own name over 200 times (we get it...the guy is friggin' arrogant!!) and play one of the least convincing "world champion" boxers that I have ever seen.

Owen Wilson, on the other hand, is a "rising star" who by taking on projects such as this and BEHIND ENEMY LINES, seems to be, well...I hate to say it but...selling out? Dude, you obviously know good humor when you see it...what exactly are you doing sleepwalking through this kind of tripe?? (besides the obvious cha-ching factor) Everyone in Hollywood needs to slap themselves in the head and recognize that audiences aren't gonna let gunk like this go by without flipping it the bird (says he as the box-office totals rumble in and turn my argument into dust?) About half an hour into this film, I turned to the guy next to me and said: "I haven't heard an audience this quiet since SCHINDLER'S LIST". The film is just lame. It sets up a moronic "plot" filled with standard evildoers (yes, for mentally-challenged audience members, the "good guys" make sure to call the "bad guys" evildoers at some point), sprinkles in various shoulder-shruggable jokes and uninteresting situations, introduces two unsympathetic lead characters, one of whom is an arrogant jerk with a big mouth, and the other who is a bumbling spy who's about as pussy-whipped as anyone that I've ever met (including the Shootin' Surgeon!) and expect you to care because there's one pretty decent action/chase sequence and a couple of funny moments here and there (the "sewer" scene between Murphy and Wilson was decent).

Ultimately, the film tosses a thoroughly expected "surprise" our way, ends on a plot hole the size of my younger brother's big ass (Murphy miraculously manages to get from one place to another in zero time), spits out dick parts for both Famke Janssen (who, in her defense, does flash us some ass) and Malcolm McDowell (why, Alex...why?) and hopes that people will flock to the theaters because of a shitty trailer and "big" names under the title (sadly, they might). Oh, and did I mention how a film about spies, entitled I SPY and all about the spy game, ultimately features only one cool spy gadget?? What the heck were these goofs thinking? I'm also happy to report that my theory about scripts with more than three screenwriters "sucking" is proven right once again here (it took four brainiacs to put this flaccidity together). This is about as "manufactured" a product (I refuse to call it a film!) that you're likely to see this year. Yeah, I laughed at the "sock" joke and smirked here and there, but mostly I just sat, watched and shook my head at the horror unraveling before me. I SPY is a shit movie...and you can quote me on that! Or better yet, if you liked BAD COMPANY, you'll love I SPY!! I got a million of them...
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian
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