The Spy Who Dumped Me
“The Spy Who Dumped Me” is the most multi-hyphenated movie to hit screens this year. It’s a spy-thriller-rom-com-buddy-flick-dark-comedy, that’s a lot of hyphens and genres. Too many, in fact.
Kate McKinnon plays Morgan Freeman (you read that right), BFF to Audrey (Mila Kunis), a cashier still stinging from being dumped by her boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux). They both thought he worked for NPR as a jazz and political podcaster. Turns out, he’s a secret agent for the CIA. Despite dumping her on her birthday, and by text no less, he reaches out to ask her to deliver a flash drive containing the "back door to the entire internet" to Vienna.
With some coaxing from Morgan—“Do you want to die never having been to Europe or do you want to die on a European trip?”—Audrey agrees and the best friends head for Europe. On their tails are squabbling MI6 spies Sebastian (Sam Heughan) and Duffer (Hasan Minhaj) the “bad people” who have been tracking Drew. “Some bad people are after me and now they are after you,” says Drew.
It seems Audrey‘s video game playing experience has trained her for life in the field. On the mission the two newbie spies Jason Bourne their way through Europe, stamping their stolen passports in Prague, Paris, Berlin while fending off ice cold Eastern European assassin Nadedja (Ivanna Sakhno). Several car chases, one death by fondue and hundreds of bullets later they uncover the truth of their assignment.
“The Spy Who Dumped Me” gets lost amid all its duelling genres. It’s not dark enough to be a dark comedy, not funny enough to be a full on comedy, not romantic enough to be a rom com and certainly not thrilling enough to give 007 a run for this money. Instead it’s a Frankensteined version of all the genres sewn together sitcom style.
McKinnon gives it her all as the well-intentioned BFF who starts as much trouble as she stops, spicing up all her scenes with the deadpan Kunis. McKinnon‘s characters are comedic things a beauty, human but other worldly, strange but relatable, but here it feels as if the big screen amplifies her already larger-than-life character. It’s as if she is acting in a different movie than Kunis and the others. She’s the movie’s MVP but her take on Morgan distracts rather than adds. As Drew tells her when they first meet, “Morgan, has anyone ever told you told you you’re a bit much?”
Despite McKinnon’s best efforts “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” at almost two hours, is overlong and overstuffed.
1 ½ STARS