THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME – Sisters Doing it for Themselves

Kernel John heads out to review the the third in the “Spy Who…..” trilogy, we had misogynistic Bond in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, hysterical toilet trash but heavy on the chuckles THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME, and now to round it we have THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME, the ladies doing a cross between the two in this comedy spy movie. THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME released this Thursday just past from the peeps at Roadshow Films. It is rated MA15+ and runs for 117mins. I really wished this one was better, I was very keen for a laugh! Enjoy John’s review……..all the best……..Salty.

BY

“Do you want to die having never been to Europe?  Or do you want to go to Europe and die there, having been to Europe!”  This linguistically circular little soundbite came about towards the beginning of the film and wonderfully sums up the lowbrow, nonsensical, over the top, and pointlessly violent debacle that is THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME.  Written and directed by relative newcomer Susanna Fogel (LIFE PARTNERS), this trashy and convoluted piece of fluff confounds audience members with its mashing of genres, long winded storyline, cartoonish villains, age old tropes, and poorly written heroines.

 

The Spy Who Dumped Me Sam Heughan, Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon image
Sam Heughan, and

 

THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME Synopsis

THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME follows the globetrotting adventures of lifelong friends Audrey Stockton, played by Mila Kunis (BAD MOMS) and , played by Kate McKinnon (GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)), as they struggle to fulfil the dying wishes of Audrey’s ex-boyfriend.  And yes, there is a joke about Morgan’s name in the film, because that is just how this movie rolls.

It seems that Audrey’s former flame Drew Thayer, played by Justin Theroux (THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN), was actually a CIA operative attempting to prevent terrorist organisation Highland from acquiring a deadly piece of technology.  Now it is up to the fumbling antics of Audrey and Morgan to ensure the device remains out of enemy hands, while trying to ascertain the true loyalties of MI6 agent Sebastian Henshaw, played by Sam Heughan (television series OUTLANDER), who appears just as determined to see the bad guys fail.

 

The Spy Who Dumped Me Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon image
Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon

 

Acting

The acting in THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME is quite good, if over the top at times.  McKinnon’s portrayal of Morgan is a real tribute to the actor’s comedic roots, though at times she does come across a tad ridiculous.  Bouncing between several extreme states of determined cluelessness, single minded intensity, and downright insanity, Morgan comes across as the sort of person you would totally expect to see led into one of those tiny interview rooms on BORDER SECURITY, while the customs officer and most of the airport patrons look on in stunned silence at the chaos wrought only moments before.

Special mention also needs to be made for Heughan’s role, channelling a wonderful secret agent persona that walked a fantastic line between BOND’s brutal kill-first,-never-bother-asking-questions mentality and KINGSMAN’s flashy-smile,-she’ll-be-right blasé.

 

The Spy Who Dumped Me Sam Heughan image
Sam Heughan

 

The turducken of cinematic plots

Where the film really falls apart though is in its storyline.  It is hard to pinpoint what sort of genre this movie was attempting to be.  It bears the framework of a college frat boy road trip comedy in the vein of HAROLD & KUMAR, though with female leads, complete with random (male) one night stand pub conquest doing a naked walk of shame through the living room the next day.  The notion continues with the two friends’ jet setting around Austria, Prague, Berlin, and other exotic locales, meeting the natives and getting up to mischief.

THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME then throws in the whole espionage curveball, with good guys, bad guys, fanciful super weapons, Judy Dench wannabes, crazy dead-in-the-eyes tiny gymnastic supermodel assassins (seriously), and all the other expected tropes.

Audrey and Morgan’s participation in this cutthroat world, where they consistently stumble backwards into international plots and double crosses galore, beggar’s belief, especially since no backstory is ever revealed about the pair to give audience members any sense at all that the two should not immediately be chalk outlines ten minutes in.  At one point, Morgan and the assassin face off in the most unlikely of circumstances, and I have to say that I have not seen a more fanciful fight between two tiny combatants since Gollum tried to take the One Ring from Frodo.

Coupled with this is a fair bit of action and a gratuitous amount of violence.  While this did mean the inclusion of a fairly epic and enjoyable car chase scene, all the excessive blood, gore, and constantly panicked screams of the protagonists just made for quite a confusing experience.

The film’s very title comes across as a jarring mismatch of stories: where revenge couples with super sleuth intrigue.  The obvious contender to such a naming convention is AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME, a likewise terribly muddled film with mediocre ratings that at least revels in its own debauchery and toilet humour so much so that you have to give it credit.

 

The Spy Who Dumped Me Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis image
Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis

 

Turns out, Drew was right

Drew was the titular spy who did the dumping, and I must say after seeing THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME, I think he was onto something.  This movie is a mess: a comedy that reaches too far for crass jokes and cheap laughs; an action flick that shows a real problem with style over substance; and a buddy voyage of discovery that is clearly not at all about the journey, but solidly about the destination.  A destination which, once the credits start to roll, you immediately realise was meaningless.

So much happens, between so many people, with so many deaths, resurrections and back stabbings, that you quickly realise the storyline should have come to a conclusion six months before the events of the film even took place.  The entirety of THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME seems to exist as a reference unto itself, like some weird catch-22 of sadistic pointlessness.  Check this solidly B-grade film out only if you are fan of the cast, or merely enjoy Heughan simply being Heughan.  For the rest of you, be like Drew and leave this movie well enough alone.

 

 

 

YOUR REVIEWER:

A lifelong lover of the silver screen, Kernel John strives to engage and entertain his audience through the shameless use of humour in his reviews, even when it probably isn’t warranted. When not musing for Salty, you can often find John bouncing between his extreme states of either puppy watching down by the beach, or reflecting on the deepest mysteries of the Universe.

** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor/publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.