A heartbroken Audrey (Mila Kunis) is dealing with a recent unforeseen breakup with her boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux) only to find out later that he was a CIA operative gone rogue, due to which even she is under the target of the intelligence commune across the world.
Why is Audrey the target of the intelligence agencies? What did Drew do?
Positive Points: –
- There are quite some genuinely laughable moments in the film and most of them revolve around Kate McKinnon.
- The action choreography and the cinematography supporting it.
Negative Points: –
- Dull or over-the-top performances from most of the cast members.
- As an espionage-comedy, The Spy Who Dumped Me is too stale to like it for 117 minutes.
- It’s overt and unabashed ridiculousness, both in terms of story-telling and its questionable direction.
Direction, Screenplay & Other Technicalities: –
Espionage comedies are not new to cinema and neither are their stories centring about women. Take an example of 2015’s Spy starring Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne, which was not only a laugh riot but also a blast! I wished director (and co-writer) Susanna Fogel actually took inspiration from flicks like Spy while crafting the basic plotline of this film. The Spy Who Dumped Me is not outright terrible but the overusage of vapid jokes and slapstick gimmicks only render it boring with time. As far as the direction is concerned, it’s not perfect and along with its screenplay, it bends to the genre clichés, most of which are hard to like.
Barry Peterson’s cinematography is something to appreciate as it glorifies the action sequences with the blend of some unconventional shots and shaky camera work. The editing and score just play along with the aforementioned. Talking about the action sequences, there are many thrilling moments and my best two picks would be the opening scene and the trapeze fight sequence. Gotta give Fogel credit for them though!
Kate McKinnon is the only actor who leaves some positive impression on the viewers owing to her terrific comic timing. However, the poor writing puts too much weight on her shoulder and as the film progresses, she frequently goes overboard and becomes less likeable as she was initially.
Mila Kunis gives an average performance. Her dialogue delivery is good and funny but her bland expressions negate the delight of the same.
Sam Heughan is charming as the MI6 operative, though he doesn’t do much as an actor here.
Justin Theroux and Hassan Minhaj are fine. Ivanna Sakhno has a rather athletic role and he does it satisfactorily. Gillian Anderson doesn’t have much to do in the movie and I fail to understand as to why an actress as talented as she would take up a role like this.
Final Verdict: –
Unless and until you’re an occasional moviegoer, there are very few reasons to like The Spy Who Dumped Me. If not for Kate McKinnon, the movie would have crumbled upon its very ingenuine attempt at making an espionage comedy. Sadly, even McKinnon, who is the film’s strongest entity, soon collapses to its frailly crafted screenplay and flimsy direction, which is nothing but a matter of shame!