The Spy Who Dumped Me

As its title would suggest, The Spy Who Dumped Me isn’t exactly the most original, or, frankly, funny. The jokes, like the bullets, are hit or miss. They don’t all hit their targets. Director and co-writer Susanna Fogel is perhaps too inexperienced to spin this uninventive fare with a twist of creativity, but she gets at least one thing absolutely right: Kate McKinnon.

Kate McKinnon is a luminescent show pony who just trots across the screen pooping comedy gold. Even her facial contortions are helping to sell mediocre material. She’s worth the price of admission. She works harder here than I wish she had to, but on MV5BYjkzNWZmMDgtODM2NS00MTM4LThlMTgtMGM4Yjg3OTc3YTE5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTc5OTMwOTQ@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1442,1000_AL_the whole the movie still worked for me, as a light and breezy r-rated comedy. I came to laugh and I did – mostly at her, granted, but she’s so fantastic and so talented and if the movie doesn’t quite measure up, I think this is her best role to date. I could have watcher her and her cat earrings fangirl over Gillian Anderson for hours.

The movie probably doesn’t need a lot of illumination in terms of plot: Audrey (Mila Kunis) was recently dumped via text by bad boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux). Best friend and roommate Morgan (McKinnon) is nursing through heartache when they’re rudely interrupted by men claiming to be CIA – they’re after Drew, who turns out to be a spy and not just a podcaster as Audrey had always believed. This immediately turns into raging gunfire and a dead ex-boyfriend whose dying wish is for Audrey to deliver a “package” to Vienna. And being very obliging girls, Audrey and Morgan jet off to Europe and are immediately in wayyyy over their heads.

The sweet thing about this movie is the friendship between Audrey and Morgan. Morgan is the kind of supportive cheerleader we all deserve to have in our lives. She thinks Audrey is kicking ass as an amateur spy, and she’s not wrong. It’s completely implausible that they survive even the first 10 seconds of this adventure (the movie’s got surprisingly intense action sequences), but if Daniel Craig can do it, so can they. I just wish the friendship felt as good as it was described; the chemistry just wasn’t there. I love McKinnon and have no particular objection to Kunis (though I think she probably over-relies on those big doe eyes of hers), but all the glowy, wonderful vibes seemed to flow in one direction. Kunis is a very pretty receptacle for other people’s good acting, but I’m not sure she gives back very much as a costar. The CIA guys (Sam Heughan, Hasan Minhaj) are a bit on the bland side too (Heughan is Tom Brady with a British accent, if that helps) but there are lots of other supporting cast that I was quite pleased with – not least of all Jane Curtin (!!!) and Paul Reiser as Morgan’s incredibly understanding parents (I would watch a sequel involving just this family), and the aforementioned Gillian Anderson as the big boss lady. Being a Lady Dynamite fan (that’s Maria Bamford’s amazing show), I was particularly glad to see both Fred Melamed and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson pop up. I was less enthusiastic about Ivanna Sakhno as the Ukrainian model\gymnast assassin. The first glimpse we get of her is half nude and totally emaciated, which just felt off in a movie that’s got two fantastic, strong female leads and is directed and co-written by a woman. We can do better. 

Which is perhaps a good way to sum up this review: we can do better. And with Kate McKinnon on board, there really is no excuse.

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15 thoughts on “The Spy Who Dumped Me

  1. floatinggold

    I haven’t seen this movie yet. It seems like it’s mediocre at best. Your feelings about Kunis reflect mine in their entirety. I’m glad to hear that you had a few laughs. I’m looking for a good comedy (as always), but none are doing it for me.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, I’m in search of a great comedy too, and still looking (I had high hopes for this one, and while I didn’t hate it by any means, it’s not fantastic – I wanted more, and I think we deserve it!)

      Liked by 3 people

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  2. Katrina Morrison

    I saw it. It made me laugh and I agree: It could have been better; but, for the price of admission and snacks, it was still worth it.
    The only thing I take exception to in your review is Sam Heughan. I throughly enjoy any (and there’s never enough) screen time with him. LOL
    Come on Jay, he is more than a Tom Brady. Other than my Heughan bias, this (as always) is a spot on review. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
      1. Katrina Morrison

        Ohhh nooo..get Starz and watch Outlander😂 He is mostly a theater actor. He has been in some British movies. He is “new” to American audiences. But trust me, he is more than eye candy…unfortunately, most people don’t get pass his good looks. But, I know you can Jay LOL
        Have a wonderful week 🌷💕

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  3. Christopher

    The New York Times has an interview with McKinnon and Kunis who are real-life friends, something which, understandably and unfortunately, doesn’t always translate to the screen.
    Even if it’s not that great though it is great to finally see a movie in the buddy-action-adventure genre with female leads.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. raistlin0903

    Well….I saw the trailer of this one in the cinema…and at that point I already decided this would be a film I would be skipping. Not really a fan of comedies in the first place so there is that too. Still as usual I enjoyed reading your review 😊

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