I have never reviewed a movie quite like The Spy Who Dumped Me. The buddy comedy-action flick follows two women who are embroiled in international spy intrigue. The film is raunchy, action-packed, and hilarious. Much of the humor and action are surprising. The number of laughs in a movie headlined by two of the funniest actors in comedy is not.
Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis star as best friends who are attached at the hip. After the pair find out that Kunis’ ex-boyfriend (played by Justin Theroux) is a spy, they find themselves being chased across Europe by secret agents. Standard Euro spy hi-jinks like motorcycle chases in scenic cities surround the pair as they unravel the challenges before them.
McKinnon and Kunis are great together. The stars have terrific chemistry and are believable as roommates who know everything about each other. A refreshing aspect of the film is that they are never driven apart by a trite love interest or jealously. They are best friends who are okay with their flaws and root for the other’s success.
The Spy Who Dumped Me cast goes far beyond McKinnon and Kunis. Theroux, Sam Heughan, Hasan Minhaj, and Gillian Anderson all appear in the film. Jane Curtin and Paul Reiser also have cameos.
The movie was directed by Susana Fogel. Her only other motion picture credit as a director is Life Partners (2014). Fogel also co-wrote the film with David Iserson (Mad Men, Saturday Night Live).
The film is well-written. It is smart, but more bawdy than intellectual. The material utilizes well-placed crudeness to get the biggest laughs. Obnoxious travelers, feminism, and slapstick mishaps are all touched on in The Spy Who Dumped Me.
At times the jokes occur with such frequency that it is hard to stop laughing. The funniest scene in the movie occurs when McKinnon and Kunis rattle off their “stuff only my best friend knows about me.”
It does not take long to see why The Spy Who Dumped Me is rated R. The comedy is lewd. The action is more violent than your typical buddy flick. Some of the action scenes exceeded the violence of the movie’s box office counterpart – Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
For a movie that was billed as a comedy, The Spy Who Dumped Me has a surprising amount of action and gore. Aside from Heughan, most of this occurs during the movie’s chase scenes and involves stunt actors.
I am not averse to some of the sequences that took place in the movie, but I was taken aback by how far the film went in certain scenes. I went into the theater expecting a run-of-the-mill buddy comedy. It was surprising to see how far the film went with certain stunts.
This is an odd choice for a summer comedy. Given that The Spy Who Dumped Me’s R rating limits audiences, the decision to push the envelope on the action scenes will ultimately hurt an otherwise great comedy’s box office returns.
It was also unnecessary. Fogel went all in on creating an edgy movie. This ultimately distracts from the comedy. Even though a lot of the material is very adult in nature, the humor is good enough that it did not need any extra help.
The Spy Who Dumped Me is not for the squeamish, but it is a great comedy. Go see the movie if you want to spend two hours laughing at a fun buddy film that brings out the best of its cast.