THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME Review: 1 out of 10 (Dump is the Operative Word)
THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME is the latest mind numbing action comedy that seems to market itself directly to a theater full of groups on “Ladies Night Out”, all of which have had a few too many martinis and margaritas.
In other words, it is at its best harmless and uninspiring. At its worst it is a pretty awful genre take that sloughs though tired Bond riffs and offers a pretty joyless experience. Also, it is really long. Far too long for the movie it is trying to be.
Directed by Susanna Fogel and co-written by Fogel and David Iserson, the film stars Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Justin Theroux, and Sam Heughan, and follows two friends (Kunis and McKinnon) who get chased through Europe by assassins after one of their ex-boyfriends turns out to be a CIA agent. McKinnon is doing the best she can here as the offbeat bestie to Kunis, but even her mugging for the camera feels more like McKinnon improving in some SNL sketch than it is a character in a comedy. The film also has a strange tone—ranging from a buddy film to a hyper violent spy caper back to a hard R raunchy sex comedy. When the best joke in the movie is a line about toxic shock syndrome, that likely gives you an indication what to expect.
Also, after much thought and reconsidering her entire filmography on the writing of this review I have come up with this conclusion. Mila Kunis has the range and talent of an unsharpened pencil. That isn’t to say this film would be better in the hands of other actresses—it wouldn’t. But here it is Kunis and her same-song-infinite-verse performance that makes this film harder to sit through. She essentially plays the same sort of stereotyped lost and clueless woman who somehow finds her groove and her grit. Her character even states: “I’m not good at anything. I never finish anything.” Her ineptitude is played for laughs, and the idea that these characters tout brave femininity in the film while performing to the lowest common denominator isn’t exactly doing feminism any favors. Kate McKinnon does gesticulate, riff, and do her best to salvage an awfully tired script. But the few smiles she brings are not worth the 117-minute run time of a film that doesn’t even bother to connect its own dots. A film so tired in its writing that alternately the bad guys or the good guys can randomly show up to a location without any explanation why. The characters bounce from place to place in Europe with no reason whatsoever. And the McGuffin that everyone is chasing in the film (a zip drive with INFORMATION!!!) isn’t even the 3rd laziest thing in the movie here.
THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME is painfully awful to watch. The plot is paper thin and altogether confusing and nonsensical while having a strong taste of predictability. There are few laughs but far more moments of sheer boredom or eyerolls. It would be a waste of airspace if it played in the background on Netflix while you folded laundry. Avoid.