We’re in need of a good comedy. The closest thing we’ve gotten lately is Ant-Man and the Wasp and The Incredibles. So can this film be an exciting yet hilarious journey for those of us just wanting a laugh? Let’s see.
Audrey (Mila Kunis) has just been dumped via text by her boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux). However, she is soon brought in by the CIA and told that Drew was an undercover spy and a series of events leads Audrey on a journey through Europe to deliver a mysterious package. She goes on this adventure with her best friend Morgan (Kate McKinnon). Two government agents are trying to catch these ladies as well (Sam Heughan and Hasan Minhaj) before their boss (Gillian Anderson) fires them.
As a spoof on the spy genre, this totally works. It almost echoes a lot of moments from Mission: Impossible – Fallout but shows us those moments from the perspective of the average person. It’s ridiculous and crazy and over the top, just like the real spy movies are. However, this movie succeeds in actually delivering some great action, not just parodying it.
There are fight scenes that are downright awesome, usually revolving around Sam Heughan who plays an MI6 agent working with the CIA to recover this package. All the best fights here feature him, aside from a pretty great circus routine from McKinnon. It’s also surprisingly brutal, so the movie doesn’t flinch from over the top deaths and up-close headshots.
What doesn’t work?
I question how this works as a comedy. I didn’t laugh much but others in the theater were. There’s a plot point in the movie about McKinnon’s character being “too much” to handle in terms of personality and I almost agree. I love her work on SNL but here… I found it to be a little too forced and more often than not, not very funny. So when you match her up with Mila Kunis, who I usually find to be the weak link in her latest comedies such as Bad Moms, the combination isn’t ideal. I sat with blank face for most of the run time, except for the occasional chuckle.
The other weak link in this cast is Hasan Minhaj, whose every single line is absolutely cringeworthy. There are moments where the movie expects you to feel like he’s an actual badass CIA agent and you don’t believe it. At all. He doesn’t pull that off and he doesn’t pull off his comedic moments either. He’s horribly miscast and drags the film down when he’s onscreen.
And maybe because the movie felt like an actual spy film, I found myself overthinking the plot because there are many many plot holes and inconsistencies and moments that they expect you to forget. If this were an actual spy film, these plot holes would be a major deterrent. Here, it’s just a little lazy.
It surprises me to say that The Spy Who Dumped Me succeeds more in the area of action and thriller than it does with comedy. The action is suspenseful and there are some really unique beats, paired with surprisingly brutal violence. The comedy falls flat though, relying on the bland Mila Kunis to carry the film while Kate McKinnon comes on far too strong. It’s not a bad movie but it’s an ultimately forgettable movie.