The Spy Who Dumped Me
I love smart, caustic, nasty women. Good grief, that was why I married Mo 30 years ago!
One of the great tragedies surrounding the early death of Peter Sellers in 1980 was the agonizing recognition that we would never see him entertaining us again on the big screen. However, after watching the ridiculously entertaining The Spy Who Dumped Me, I walked from the theater thinking that Mr. Sellers has been reborn as Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis.
To begin with, there is a moment in this R rated romp where a recognizable portion of the music from Pink Panther was employed for reasons that didn’t escape me. On top of that, both Ms. McKinnon and Ms. Kunis recreate Mr. Sellers’ Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau as they get caught up in an international spy conspiracy that leaves them dangling on the edge of disaster at every turn.
While the film has obvious weaknesses, it is one of those movies where those moments pass by with absolutely no meaning. For example, despite the fact that the two female leads, Audrey (Ms. Kunis) and Morgan (Ms. McKinnon), flea Los Angeles for Europe with no apparent money and no extra clothes other than what they are wearing, you quickly shake your head and root them on as they try to solve a violent struggle taking place between terrorist groups and drug agents from several countries.
The camera follows our girls through several countries as Audrey deals with the trauma of being dumped by her boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux), only to discovery he is a spy who has been brutally shot and apparently murdered in her apartment. Realizing that they are now put on the assassin’s hit list, the girls are often running in the hopes of finding allies who can save their own lives.
There are a number of very good supporting performances in this comic adventure beginning with Sam Heughan as Sebastian, a spy who could either be a good guy or a villain. He is joined by his assistant Duffer, Hassan Minhaj, in a very funny role. Lastly, Ivanna Sakhno gives a sensational performance as the villainess Nadedja, and you will likely long remember her encounter on a high trapeze with Morgan.
However, both McKinnon and Kunis are at their caustic, vulgar best engaging in repetitive dialogues that earned the film its R rating. They may be scared amateurs, but they are ready to kill if it is needed to save their own lives or a friend.
Both actresses have never been better, and Ms. McKinnon’s performance helps you remember her marvelous accomplishments on Saturday Night Live and helps you forget her appearance in pasty films like Office Christmas Party (2016) and last year’s Rough Night. As for Ms. Kunis, she continues to build on the comic talent she displayed in the first Bad Moms (2016).
In the process, both women bring to the screen a bit of the magic displayed by Peter Sellers over the years, and you end up embracing a frequently ridiculous adventure that leaves you laughing out loud with a large segment of the audience.