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The Spy Who Dumped Me Movie Review

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) movie poster The Spy Who Dumped Me

Theatrical Release: August 3, 2018 / Running Time: 117 Minutes / Rating: R

Director: Susanna Fogel / Writers: Susanna Fogel, David Iserson

Cast: Mila Kunis (Audrey), Kate McKinnon (Morgan Freeman), Justin Theroux (Drew Thayer), Sam Heughan (Sebastian Henshaw), Ivanna Sakhno (Nadedja), Gillian Anderson (Wendy), Hasan Minhaj (Duffer), Fred Melamed (Roger), Jane Curtin (Carol), Paul Reiser (Arnie), Lolly Adefope (Tess), Kev Adams (Bitteauto Driver Lukas), Dustin Demri-Burns (Viktor), James Fleet (Tom), Carolyn Pickles (Marsha), Σlafur Darri Σlafsson (Finnish Backpacker), Tom Stourton (Edward Snowden), Ruby Kammer (Aussie Tourist #1), Genevieve McCarthy (Aussie Tourist #2)


Right on the heels of Mission: Impossible - Fallout delivering one of the biggest opening weekends ever for a spy movie, The Spy Who Dumped Me looks to play espionage for both thrills and laughs. The title is more of a play on other works with "The Spy Who" in their names; this is not really a movie about revenge
or rebounding and it is not an entry into the "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" genre.

Audrey (Mila Kunis) has recently been dumped and via text message by her boyfriend of nearly one year. That makes her 30th birthday party with which the film opens a somewhat awkward affair. A flashback to a year earlier reveals the circumstances under which Maddie and Drew (Justin Theroux) first met at the gathering for her 29th birthday.

We already know that Drew is not the podcaster he told Audrey he was. The opening scenes cut between Audrey's Los Angeles birthday festivities and Drew's breathtaking field work in Lithuania. Drew returns to Audrey's apartment to retrieve the film's MacGuffin: a second place fantasy football trophy that actually holds a priceless flash drive of great interest to many parties. By now, Audrey has already been tipped off by handsome British MI6 agent Sebastian (Sam Heughan) and overly proud Harvard alum turned CIA agent Duffer (Hasan Minhaj) that her boyfriend actually worked for the CIA.

In "The Spy Who Dumped Me", best friends Morgan (Kate McKinnon) and Audrey (Mila Kunis) spontaneously fly to Vienna in an effort to avoid death by secret agents.

Many innocent lives stand to be destroyed if that flash drive gets into the wrong hands, we are told, so Audrey and her best friend Morgan (Kate McKinnon) hop on a plane for Vienna and try not to be killed as it seems Drew has.

In the interest of keeping this synopsis brief, let's just say spy stuff ensues. It involves stand-ins, car chases, double crosses, and a young model/former gymnast/cold-blooded Eastern European assassin (Ivanna Sakhno) seemingly hellbent on destroying our in-way-over-their-heads heroines. There are also small but colorful roles filled by a couple of '90s TV icons (Gillian Anderson and Paul Reiser).

No molds are broken here, but nor do they have to be for The Spy Who Dumped Me to be a consistently entertaining experience. Without fully embracing the buddy comedy genre, the second movie written and directed by Susanna Fogel (2014's Life Partners) exhibits complete faith in its two 34-year-old leading women.

Audrey (Mila Kunis) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon) find themselves in way over their heads with a priceless flash drive in their possession in Europe.

Kunis, seasoned in comedies from Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Ted to Bad Moms, is the everywoman protagonist who is a bad liar and pretty average in every other way. McKinnon, who has grown in prominence in the six years since starting her ongoing run on "Saturday Night Live", gets the flashier, more comedic part. Morgan,
whose surname is Freeman, is awkwardly close to her mother (Jane Curtin) and even closer to Audrey. Viewers who aren't on board with the characterization will think someone classifying the bestie as "a little much" is an extreme understatement.

The screenplay, for which Fogel shares credit with TV-seasoned David Iverson ("Mr. Robot", "United States of Tara"), is funny a lot more often than it is not. It's an R-rated comedy, which means there's a fair amount of profanity, a flash of uncircumcised penis, bloodshed, and some other off-color material. But it's quite raunch for raunch's sake, as detractors might categorize certain Judd Apatow comedies and the two Paul Feig-Melissa McCarthy collaborations that most seemed to pave the way for this film (The Heat and Spy).

There's not much to think about or try to unravel. Though plot drives it, Spy Who Dumped Me appeals more on the basis of its breezy atmosphere, as it gets laughs and chuckles at everything from shade thrown at bad songs (shots fired, Crash Test Dummies) to an Edward Snowden gag. It won't put up the numbers of Mission: Impossible or other big summer movies, but it's a more enjoyable ride than most of the season's live-action comedies whether they've starred men (Tag) or women (Ocean's Eight).

Related Reviews:
Now in Theaters: Mission: Impossible - Fallout • Ocean's Eight • Tag • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again • The Equalizer 2
Mila Kunis: Date Night • Black Swan • Extract • Jupiter Ascending • Third Person • Oz the Great and Powerful • That '70s Show: Season One
Kate McKinnon: Rough Night • Masterminds • Ghostbusters (2016) • Sisters • Office Christmas Party
Atomic Blonde • This Means War • Kingsman: The Golden Circle • Rush Hour 3 • Identity Thief

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Reviewed August 1, 2018.

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