Review: The Spy Who Dumped Me

The Spy Who Dumped Me
5 10

PLOT: A recently dumped woman (Mila Kunis), discovers her ex was a CIA agent and has left her in the possession of a flash drive wanted by the Russian mob. With her best friend (Kate McKinnon) in-tow, she jets off to Europe with assassins and spies in hot pursuit.

REVIEW: THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME is the kind of fare that used to be a dime-a-dozen at the box-office, with the light action/comedy vibe reminiscent of a whole slew of Matthew McConaughey rom-coms from the aughts, but the genre has all but died out in recent years. So, I was primed to cut this one a bit of slack, thanks to the appealing stars and the fact that it’s something of a throwback star vehicle, and indeed, it’s not bad as far as these things go. It’s too bad then that it isn't the least bit funny.

It almost feels like THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME is more of a calling card for director Susanna Fogel, who brings a lot more weight, carnage and creativity to the action scenes than you’d assume given the genre. Right off the bat, I was impressed by how well choreographed an opening chase featuring Justin Theroux’s heart-breaker spy was, and a later scene, where “Outlander’s” Sam Heughan makes like Colin Firth in KINGSMAN and wipes out a café in gruesome fashion is a legitimately solid action beat. Yet, watching impalings, immolations, and dozens upon dozens of bodies being dropped in hardcore R-rated fashion distracts a bit from what’s essentially a wafer thin caper.

The big problem with THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME is that it just isn’t funny. There was nary a chuckle to be heard at the press screening I attended, with the jokes all being old-hat. Mila Kunis fares better than co-star McKinnon, who’s forced to rely on shtick and never really gets to dig into the inspired lunacy of some of her better parts (as much as I hated the film MASTERMINDS, I thought she was flat-out brilliant in it). Kunis fares better as the more relaxed half of the duo, but it doesn’t really work as a buddy comedy.

Given Fogel’s flair for action, part of me wishes this had been done as more of a straight-ahead caper – kind of a THE MAN FROM RIO, NORTH BY NORTHWEST-style light action comedy. Kunis would have managed quite well, and she has legit chemistry with Theroux and Heughan, both of whom are well cast. It actually could have been a good little thriller, but as it is now it’s an oddball mix of raunchy comedy and action.

Even still, THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME is never especially painful to sit through. At worst, it’s just comedy falling flat, and as off-key as McKinnon seems to be here, she’s never grating. It feels like Fogel was trying to make the modern-day version of a Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis caper – but try watching one of those films now. They’re as awkward as this is, but at least it has energy and the occasional odd bit of inspiration.

Source: JoBlo.com



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