The Spy Who Dumped Me – movie review

by Fiona Rae / 22 August, 2018
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Starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon, The Spy Who Dumped Me is a female-powered spy caper that still panders to the boys.

Shockingly, Hollywood has finally caught on to the idea that there is good money to be made from female-centric blockbusters. All it took was a few hits, generally starring Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, The Heat), and a whole movement exposing sexual discrimination and abuse. We’ve even reached a point where studio films built around women are not unusual – thank you again, McCarthy – and, just like the last 10 Adam Sandler films, they’re allowed to fail.

Which isn’t to say The Spy Who Dumped Me is a failure; it’s a lot of fun. Like all good spy capers, it rockets through nice European locations, from a car chase in Vienna to a hand-to-hand trapeze fight(!) in Prague. There are Russian villains and a dishy British spy (Outlander’s Sam Heughan, doing a creditable Bond audition).

Mila Kunis has had serious roles (Black Swan), but is a terrific comedic actress; she would have to be to keep up with the force of nature that is Kate McKinnon, whose over-the-top Morgan is the catalyst for a European adventure with her more timid best friend Audrey. In the time-honoured tradition, Audrey discovers she has a surprising talent for spycraft.

But, as with the spy-comedy Kingsman movies, the film’s lurches from laughter to graphic violence are disconcerting. Perhaps Susanna Fogel, known for indie film Life Partners, thought she needed to throw in something for the boys after all.

Video: Lionsgate Movies

IN CINEMAS NOW

★★★

This article was first published in the August 25, 2018 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

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