Friday, April 3, 2020

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Length: 117 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: BRON Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance, Imagine Entertainment, Lionsgate, Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures, Lionsgate UK, Aurum Films, BF Distribution, Belga Films, Constantin-Film, Golden Village Pictures, Independent Films, Metropolitan Filmexport, Mongkol Major, Noori Pictures, Noori, Nordisk Film Distribusjon, Phars Film, Pioneer Films, Roadshow Film Distributors (NZ) Ltd., Roadshow Films, Spentzos Films, StudioCanal, TME Films, Eagle Films, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Neon, Pris Audiovisuais, TV3
Director: Susanna Fogel
Writer: Susanna Fogel, David Iserson
Actors: Justin Theroux, Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Lolly Adefope, Dustin Demri-Burns, David Iserson, Sam Heughan, Hasan Minhaj, Mirjam Novak, Kev Adams, Gillian Anderson, Ivanna Sakhno, Jane Curtin, Paul Reiser, Fred Melamed, James Fleet, Carolyn Pickles, Tom Stourton, ├ôlafur Darri ├ôlafsson

Blurb from IMDb: Audrey and Morgan are best friends who unwittingly become entangled in an international conspiracy when one of the women discovers the boyfriend who dumped her was actually a spy.

Selina’s Point of View:
This movie started on a bad note for me. There was cringe and continuity errors galore, neither of which ever endears me to a film. But the problems barely even lasted to the title screen – then things got much better.

Mila Kunis (Oz the Great and Powerful, Hell and Back, Wonder Park) and Kate McKinnon (Office Christmas Party, Ferdinand, Bombshell) have such amazing on-screen chemistry that I immediately bought the idea that they were best friends. I’ve had some of the same back-and-forth bantering moments with my best friend, and it felt natural to me when I saw it on-screen. I don’t think anyone could fault either of their performances.

A lot of critics had an issue with the humor in this film, but I don’t think they gave it the credit it deserves. Yes, the movie does seem to try to give a few too many poop jokes. When it’s not going to toilet humor, though, it had me giggling out loud.

The humor wasn’t the best part, though.

I expected a fish-out-of-water comedy. I got a LOT of that, but I wouldn’t lean too heavily toward ‘comedy’ when describing this film. It’s not a funny film with some action. It’s an action film with some comedy. I don’t think the production company did itself any favors by marketing it as the former.

The action sequences in The Spy Who Dumped Me were on point. There was so much more action, blood, and intensity than I expected. The first big shootout went by and I was like, ‘yeah, ok. I expected that.’ But the movie never really slowed down after that, and it caught me off-guard. You get a decent high-quality action scene – then some comedy – then right back to the action.

Critics didn’t seem to watch this film from the right perspective. I blame marketing for that. Personally, I loved it. It’s one of those films where I could see it becoming a guilty pleasure.

Cat’s Point of View:
There’s a feeling that you get when a movie opens with one of your favorite songs. It amps you up and automatically puts you in the mood to expect, hope, and pray the movie it’s attached to will be good. Quite a few times, I’ve been disappointed. This was not one of those times. The Spy Who Dumped Me delivered a case full of awesome.

I remember that I’d been rather excited to see this movie from the get-go. I’ll admit that this is actually my second viewing; albeit, my first watch-through was when the film first reached On-Demand through my cable provider over a year ago. I felt like I was watching again for the first time. I was taken back along for the ride, swept into the story and the laughter. Aside from that, Selina and I both scored this movie in our Top 10 movies to look out for in August 2018. I had this one as my #4.

I love the premise of this movie. You see so many buddy-cop and buddy P.I. movies – the list really goes on – with a pair of guys involved. If it’s not two dudes, then there’s a male/female pairing. This is one of those Thelma and Louise (1991) sort of movies that tosses that old recipe out the window and runs with the strengths of two capable women banding together.

Of course, this movie spoofs the spy genre all over the place – that’s fun, too. I just dig that ‘ride or die’ friendship that the two female lead characters have. This is the sort of shenaniganry I would get into with my own best friends. I’d like to think so, at least. Hopefully with fewer flying bullets.

Kate McKinnon is one of my favorite comedians of today. I adore the quirkiness that she brings to her roles. Casting did a wonderful job here pairing her with Mila Kunis. I believed the dynamic of their friendship. It felt organic. Besides, who doesn’t like a good ‘straight-laced’ foil to a kooky character?

The icing on the action-laden cake for me was Sam Heughan’s (Young Alexander the Great, Emulsion, Bloodshot) involvement with the project. Aside from getting moony whenever I hear the Scottish actor speak, I like seeing the different roles he takes outside of his lead role in Outlander (2014-). Even though I’m an admitted fangirl, I feel that I can still be fairly objective when I say that he excels in this sort of genre.

I would definitely give this action-packed spy flick a hearty recommendation. In fact, I’d have to say that the film is probably in my personal top 200 of all time. I’d watch it again, and again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 49%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 57%
Metascore – 52/100
Metacritic User Score – 5.9/10
IMDB Score – 6.0/10
CinemaScore – B

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating5/5

P.S. Two extra scenes during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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