What would happen if two basic underachieving women were unwillingly thrust into the middle of an international plot of terrorism and espionage with twists aplenty?
Well, if the two women are Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon heaps of hilarity abound. That is the gist of The Spy Who Dumped Me, undoubtedly titled in reference to another hilarious spy comedy Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
The movie opens with a typical spy thriller action sequence, courtesy of Drew, (Justin Theroux) the spy who does the dumping. Although I must say Drew's use of vegetables as weapons were anything but typical. Albeit countless kids would probably consider eating vegetables to be just as deathly as any spy's preferred weapon.
Nevertheless, I digress. When the main character Audrey (Miley Kunis) is introduced, she is already dumped, encouraged and consoled by best friend Morgan (Kate McKinnon) at Audrey’s birthday celebration. BTW, Audrey ’s introductory scene with her playing an arcade shooting game is textbook clichéd foreshadowing, however, the ending sequence does a serviceable job in bringing this scene full circle.
Also, before I go any further it would be a crime not to applaud McKinnon’s performance as the wonky best friend. Something about her goofy, aloof “extra-ness” (for lack of a better word) seems tailor-made for a sidekick role like this. While Mila Kunis is competent as the lead, she fails to shine like McKinnon. Especially considering McKinnon's end of the movie trapeze fight scene is quite possibly the best action scene of the movie. It’d be hard to imagine this movie without the goofiness and unending laughs that the supporting actress provides.
The plot kicks off when Drew comes back to Audrey and Morgans apartment to explain his actions. After Audrey informs him that the CIA questioned her about him, informing her of his status as a spy, the house shortly thereafter comes under fire. Drew escapes just long enough to give Audrey instructions to deliver what was previously thought to be a meaningless second place fantasy football trophy, to someone named Verne in Vienna. Directly after giving these orders to Audrey, he is “killed” by an Eastern European spy that Morgan unwittingly brought home under the guise of a harmless, rough around the edges foreigner.
This inciting incident is what leads to the European adventure of Audrey and Morgan which include café shootouts, meth smoking drivers in a car chase, failed carjackings, successful passport thefts, torture via an emotionless gymnast assassin, too many twists to keep track of and tons of comedy.
Although this movie is entertaining enough to keep you laughing throughout, shoddy character development and holes in the story keep this movie from being great. In order to avoid spoilers, I won’t go into the plot holes. However, the movie seems to treat Audrey’s development as a task rather than a natural story element. Midway through the movie, an obvious exposition is used to introduce her flaws, having no connection to anything at the beginning of the story. The resulting “development” seems forced and lacks significance.
Meanwhile, Audrey’s eventual love interest Sebastian (Sam Heughan) is a great addition to the story but his character his handled inconsistently. One minute he ’s a super badass spy and the other he’s bumbling and ineffective.
Despite its obvious flaws, The Spy Who Dumped Me does a good job of continuing to show that female-driven comedies can entertain. The film, written and directed by Susanna Fogel, has a tangible female slant. I recommend watching this movie to anyone looking for a good laugh. I caution those watching not to expect much though, outside of McKinnon's endearing goofiness and some entertaining action scenes.