The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

I realised when I posted my review for The Happytime Murders that there was one point I forgot to make; I no longer trust Melissa McCarthy in films anymore. I like her in some, but she has a tendency to ruin some films with dialogue seemingly improvised on the spot which serves no purpose and isn’t funny enough to justify its own existence, so just ends up being annoying (I call this the Kevin Hart effect). I was really annoyed about that, luckily this film makes the exact same mistake, so I can make here instead. I won’t, but I could. This film has too many moments where the scenes go on long past the natural stopping point, just to let the characters ramble on.

Tonally it’s kind of a mess too, it’s attempting to be about 5 different films, it would have been better if it picked a style and settled on it. It’s not quite clever enough to work as a spy film, there’s no amazing twists which catch you by surprise, or clever plotting which runs throughout the whole thing; it’s a comedy first, and a spy movie second, and there’s enough comedies already that this doesn’t seem to be adding anything new to that genre. There is room for a comedic spy movie, as you can see from Spy (both the film, and the television series). When this film has a choice between character-based logical decisions, and a throwaway joke, it always goes with the joke. This has the effect of making it look like the characters aren’t taking the situation entirely seriously, which means you don’t really buy into the central premise. I go on about this a lot but the reason Airplane worked (and it did), was because although it was a comedy, the characters in it took it seriously, so it had stakes, you were invested in the plot one hundred percent. This doesn’t do that, and it’s all the worse for it. I mean, it is very funny at times, but it’s incredibly disposable and wastes a promising premise. It mainly wastes it by having the main characters actually be effective spies, it would be funnier if it was all by luck, or if they were actually awful at it and made the situation a lot worse than it would be otherwise, and it escalated from something manageable into something catastrophic.

So in summary, it’s alright, but I’ll be very surprised if it gets a sequel. I feel I would like it more if it was a netflix film, or an extended skit on SNL, but as a full length feature? It manages to both not to do enough, whilst attempting way too much.

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