Was there ever an action comedy in which the action rolled over the comedy as in "The Spy Who Dumped Me"? The example that comes to my mind is "Beverly Hills Cop II," and that was a catastrophe of the misplaced 80s splash machismo, a betrayal of the mundane spark that Eddie Murphy brought to the original. "The Spy Who Dumped Me" is not a debacle, but it is an exaggerated and uncannily flammable entertainment, a movie that does not seem to decide whether he wants to be a light comedy or a top-heavy exercise in B (19659002) Audrey (Mila Kunis ), a cashier from New Jersey with straight, brown hair and an unsteady attitude, and Morgan (Kate McKinnon), her righteous feminist BFF, gets caught in the middle of a high-ballistic espionage spell after it turns out that Audrey's absent friend, Drew (Justin Theroux), a cutthroat who works for the CIA. Before the story starts, we see it in action, breaking through walls and sending out continental bats and jumping out of a window onto a truck in a single shot that Tom Cruise likes best. This could almost be the prelude to a Jason Statham movie, and the audience thinks, "Okay, they must try to get us in the mood."
Once Drew is shot dead in front of Audrey She and Morgan try to fulfill his mission by taking the parcel he carries to Vienna to hand it over to his contact at a café. We still think the movie invites us to romp around: the female version of a Will Ferrell mate farce, or maybe a cousin for law-enforcement comedies like Spies or The Heat. Not that "The Spy Who Dismissed Me" had to follow these formulas ̵
But what a thing! The laugh lines come on the cue, but usually they do not register as a comedy (more like filler), because the image is so strong to be an extravagance of impudence. The Viennese Café, for example, explodes into a bloody solo (machine guns, daggers, crashing bodies), and the key to what we stand for is the brutal reward when a man pokes his head in a pot of fondue – and it's not not a joke. It's just a cool way to kill someone. (Actually, it would have been funnier if Jason Statham had done it.)
"The Spy Who Kicked Me Out" has knife fights and chases, double crosses and betrayal, a Eurotrott structure that brings our heroines from Vienna to Paris Prague to Berlin, a handsome agent (Sam Heughan) who may be on her side, a Russian assassin (Ivanna Sakhno), who is like an Android gymnast with invisible eyebrows, a culmination of the Cirque du Soleil, where Morgan attends a trapeze and more jibber jabber than you can stand over a flash drive containing information that will save countless lives. There are a dozen rifle blasts for each laugh, but it says the film is far from incompetent – if by the middle of the period "Die Hard" is your standard. It's hard to invest a lot in what we see, but at least one dimension of "The Spy Who Dump Me" is alive, and that's Kate McKinnon's sparkling performance. There are moments when she can save the movie.
The proverbial threat to any "Saturday Night Live" interpreter trying to get him onto the big screen is that they are too sketchy and light, too late familiar to night tics. But McKinnon breaks out of the warmed-up "SNL" ghetto in "The Spy Who Dump Me." She plays Morgan as a post-MeToo apostate, and there's nothing harmless or sweet about her comic attack. With her tough eyes and hungry grin and bone-dry sarcastic appeal, McKinnon is like Bette Davis channeling Fran Lebowitz. When she's introduced to Wendy (Gillian Anderson), a major MI6 resident, she says, "You're the boss, and you did not sacrifice an ounce of femininity." McKinnon knows how to play a line in such a way that it cuts straight in two directions: she means it, but she also gives her own look. Bitches can really have everything Boosterism. Her sarcastic sincerity is a tonic that stands out.
With such an attitude and with the right vehicle, Kate McKinnon could rule in the movies. But "The Spy Who Dismissed Me" is not this vehicle. It's a new kind of sister-power-action preparation, and director and co-writer Susanna Fogel shows an undeniable boldness in refusing to make the comedy too stupid-girly-coy. But "The Spy Who Dumped Me" is so loaded with heavy generic set pieces that it never creates the kind of open air zone where the laughs can take wings.
At one point, our heroines end up in an apartment thinking that it's a safe haven, but their host, played by the ever-delicious Fred Melamed, turns out to be an enemy spy. But he is an absurdly relaxed. As he stares at Morgan with an eyebrow raised, he asks, "Are you a lover of Balzac ?" She replies, "less and less, with every experience." I would have over-bought the entire thriller package from "The Spy Who Dismissed Me" for half a dozen jokes that are insanely old-school cheesy-weird.