Review: The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)


The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

Directed by: Susanna Fogel | 117 minutes | action, comedy | Actors: Kate McKinnon, Mila Kunis, Justin Theroux, Lolly Adefope, Dustin Demri-Burns, Sam Heughan, Hasan Minhaj, Mirjam Novak, Gillian Anderson, Jane Curtin, Paul Reiser, Fred Melamed, James Fleet, Tom Stourton

If there’s one thing Audrey (Mila Kunis, ‘Black Swan’) isn’t looking for, it’s a surprise birthday party; after all, she just got dumped by her boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux, ‘Mulholland Drive’). But then she has not counted on best friend and roommate Morgan (Kate McKinnon, ‘Saturday Night Live’). When the party doesn’t really get off the ground, the two decide on an impulse to burn all Drew’s leftovers. Drew, newly on a dangerous mission in Lithuania, hears this and is forced to return home as soon as possible. Much to Audrey’s surprise, Drew finds himself working for the CIA and is shot during their reunion. Just before this, Drew asks Audrey to hand over a USB stick containing life-threatening information at a restaurant in Vienna. What follows is a dangerous, violent road trip across Europe, in which Audrey and Morgan face all kinds of threats.

It is especially the dynamic between Audrey and Morgan that is central in ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’. The film can probably best be compared to a film like ‘The Heat’, in which Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy formed a similar comic duo, although this film is perhaps a little more hysterical. In these kinds of action comedies, the plot is usually subordinate to the characters and action, and ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ perfectly complies with the laws of the genre, completed with a completely unnecessary romantic storyline. The target audience will undoubtedly love scenes in which Kunis kisses an overly handsome spy; the average movie viewer can now dream of this kind of unnecessary delay.

Mila Kunis is doing fine as the somewhat naive Audrey, who manages to manage the situation anyway, but it is mainly Kate McKinnon who steals the show and is given all the space to display her comedic talent. The scene where McKinnon has to combine acrobatics with combat is particularly well done, as are most of her comedic interludes. After witty supporting roles in ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Rough Night’, McKinnon once again manages to attract almost all the attention, proving she is ready to carry a comedy film herself. It is also nice to see Justin Theroux on the silver screen after a lot of television work, although he has a somewhat thankless supporting role here.

Much of what we see in ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ we have seen countless times before. A few nice finds and Kate McKinnon aside, the film adds very little, but the whole thing mainly works as (too) unpretentious entertainment. Precisely at the moments when director Susanna Fogel colors just a little outside the lines, ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ distinguishes itself from other films within the genre, but it is a pity that this is limited to a few rare moments. Thus ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ remains a generic action comedy of which we have already seen countless: entertaining, but also very nonsensical.

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