Posted Aug 23 2018
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The Spy Who Dumped Me - This McKinnon Rocks - The Movie Tries To Keep Up

Dir: Susanna Fogel

Starring Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Justin Theroux, Gillian Anderson, Sam Heughan, Paul Reiser, Jane Curtin, James Fleet

Kate McKinnon owns this movie. It’s an OK movie. It’s a mildly funny movie that will make you smile, even laugh on occasion. But for all its contrivances, it hangs together for one reason only – Kate McKinnon.

By far the best thing to come out of SNL in the last five years or more, McKinnon has been in need of a big screen cross over for sometime, and last years’ Ghostbusters – in which she was once again the finest thing – did no one any favours over all.

Here she finds a silly spy parody – and a decent enough co-star in the very reliable Kunis – and she runs with it. It’s by no means perfect – too long, too travelogue (a lot of Europe gets “done”) and simply not well written enough. But McKinnon knows how to own a comedy moment, and co-writer/director Fogel gives her enough room here to make this worthwhile.

Kunis though is the traditional lead (McKinnon her wonderfully weird, hugely dysfunctional friend) whose boyfriend (a bland as usual Theroux) turns out to be a CIA Maguffin who propels these ladies into a global spy hodgepodge. Cue a road trip female buddy movie with some handled well enough action moments from Fogel, that throw a lot of gags at the wall, not all of which stick.

To be fair to a movie with a title that screams “You know what you’re getting here” this “Spy” delivers more than expected. Kunis is adroit, the supporting cast offer delights (Reiser and Curtin take a bow), Heughan is charmingly hunky (please don’t anyone start calling him a runner for the next Bond  just because he wears tux!), and Anderson is all cool lesbian chic. Indeed, one of the film’s strengths is how it plays with McKinnon’s own acknowledged sexuality – her response to “Do you like Balzac?” is one for the ages.

The Spy Who Dumped Me feels like a gag sold as a title stretched into a movie. As such it is uneven, but it has charm. And enough moments to make you feel like you laughed a few times. And more than anything, it has the great Kate McKinnon. More please.

 

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