Audrey and Morgan are best friends, and like best friends should be, they are there for each other no matter what. Through a shootout in her apartment Audrey discovers that her ex-boyfriend is secretly a spy and after being shot he asks her to deliver something important for him. This request is what thrusts the two friends into international chaos with no one else to trust but each other. Everyone they come in contact with proves to be untrustworthy so the pair relies on each other to survive every improbable situation. Their friendship grows throughout these events but so do each of them. They face fears and overcome long-standing obstacles the way any of us would hope to. The Spy Who Dumped Me is an action comedy that tries to be much more than it appears at surface level.
On its face, The Spy Who Dumped Me is a simple and unoriginal action comedy. Sometimes that is exactly what this movie is; other times it’s a smart satire of the spy movie genre. That inconsistency is the biggest problem with the movie as a whole. Writers Susanna Fogel (who also served as the director) and David Iserson, created some really good moments. They understand the spy genre and how ridiculous it can be at times. They also found great ways to laugh at its expense. The car chase is a great example of this. Audrey (Mila Kunis) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon) try to escape in an old couple’s car, however the car is a stick shift and neither of them knows how to drive it. Instead of the grand get away, they slowly roll down a hill as the couple walks beside the car. Eventually they get out and into an Uber. This is a hilarious take on the genre, one that anyone who has ever seen a spy movie can find funny. There are several other moments like this and in those moments the movie is really good. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough of those moments and there are times when the movie takes itself too seriously. I don’t exactly know if The Spy Who Dumped Me is supposed to be a full on satire and that’s part of the problem. It seems to try and be a satire while also trying to be a serious spy movie, and that just didn’t work.
An element of the movie that did work was its lead characters, Mila Kunis (Audrey) and Kate McKinnon (Morgan). They give life to the pair of friends and likewise bring life to the movie because their chemistry is solid. Those two work not only as friends but also as comedic partners. For the most part, they balanced each other out well. In previous roles McKinnon will do too much and Kunis has been too bland. In The Spy Who Dumped Me they off set that a bit and made each other more watchable. By the end, I still had a hard time with McKinnon because she feels like a one note performer, and it is an extremely high note. Much like the whole movie she was a bit uneven but she was also responsible for some of the funniest moments in the whole movie. The two leads weren’t helped all that much by the supporting cast, which also hurt the movie. Justine Theroux (Drew) was forgettable, as was Sam Heughan as Sebastian. Hasan Minhaj (Duffer) was a great addition and lit up the screen when he was there, but he wasn’t there enough to really make an impact. Overall, the cast left a bit to be desired.
In a year that so far has been full of good movies, it’ll be easy to forget The Spy Who Dumped Me. However forgettable, it doesn’t make it a bad movie. There are enough good elements to make it watchable but in the end it didn’t come together in a way that was fully satisfying. The movie is just good enough to wish that it was better, which is a bit frustrating. It is not a bad sit and this will find an audience. It works as a date movie but that is probably it. If you take it as it is and don’t expect more than a few laughs then you’ll find it surprisingly enjoyable, but that’s about all that it can be.
2 1/2 out of 5 stars
Director: Susanna Fogel Writers: Susanna Fogel & David Iserson Starring: Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Justin Theroux, Sam Heughan & Hasan Minhaj Release Date: August 3rd Rated: R Runtime: 1 hour and 56 minutes Image Credit: The Spy Who Dumped Me