When asked if The Spy Who Dumped Me was an action or a comedy film in one the film’s promotional interviews, lead actor Mila Kunis confidently replied with, “It’s both—you’re welcome!”
This film is one that certainly pushes many genre combinations, but it is also one that will certainly guarantee a fun night in.
Kunis co-stars alongside actress and comedian, Kate McKinnon, and the pairing of these two strong, female leads works exceptionally well; they will have you laughing non-stop for the entire two-hour running time.
As the title suggests, the film is about Audrey Stockton (played by Kunis) discovering (much to her shock) that her boyfriend, Drew (Justin Theroux), does not have a job at the National Public Radio like he told her, but is in fact a spy on a CIA mission. He’s often overseas running away from assassins and blowing things up; oh, and he also just dumped Audrey––via text! Thankfully she has best-friend-of-12-years, Morgan Freeman (played by Kate McKinnon, whose name certainly provides for a few laughs later on) to help her through this mess.
The girls are thrown into the thick of the action and their Los Angeles apartment is very quickly destroyed when Drew suddenly turns up and brings his angry entourage with him. He tells the girls that they must get an important package to Vienna by 11am the next morning; and then he is immediately shot dead right in front of their eyes (oops, spoiler alert … or perhaps not?).
Little did they know that they would be in for a European trip of a lifetime. As Morgan puts it, “Do you want to die having never been to Europe? Or do you want to go to Europe and die having been to Europe?”
It’s directed by Susanna Fogel, who, while not skipping over the hilarious comedic moments, has also shown she’s not about to shy away from the action side of things either.
Audrey and Morgan are in constant peril throughout the film—suddenly getting caught amongst insane stabbing and shootings, and even winding up being tortured by Russian-assassin-gymnast-model, Nadedja (Ivanna Sakhno). The comedy softens the heavy, darker side of the violence, so that even though what you are seeing is gory, you still manage to take it somewhat light-heartedly––depending on how well you react to someone getting impaled on a blade. But the element that stood out to me the most was the genuine hilarity of the film—there are definitely no deadpan or unoriginal jokes in this spy-flick.
A couple of my favourite scenes include when the Russian assassin is looking around through her rifle scope for “two dumb American women”, until she realises they are everywhere and her mission will be harder than she thought. The travellers acting like “typical white girls” reminded me of the Europe Instagram photos posted by almost everyone I know during the uni break. As the film came to an end, McKinnon topped it off in one of the most gripping scenes of them all, with an acrobatics scene involving a trapeze and the Russian assassin, in which they fight it out to the death.
Even with all the hilariousness and witty side jokes, The Spy Who Dumped Me does have its fair share of flaws. There are a few plot holes that let the structure of the film down; for example, we don’t know much about the relationship between Audrey and Drew apart from the fact they met at a bar. There is also a lack of time spent focusing on the male leads, including chemistry for a potential love interest for Kunis’ character, Sebastian Henshaw (Sam Heughan), which leaves us questioning his intentions.
Some people might think the gags and one-liners might be getting a bit much by the end of the film, but in my opinion, it was fascinating to watch Kunis and McKinnon’s characters’ friendship develop on screen, to the point where it was hard to tell if they were acting or just sincerely cracking themselves up during takes. McKinnon really does carry the trophy home; between the ridiculous outfits she ends up wearing and the commentary that comes out of her mouth, she is a whirlwind of surprises and, quite frankly, you should go and see this film just to watch her.
The Spy Who Dumped Me sheds light on what would happen if two ordinary women are placed in foreign, dangerous circumstances; and what they end up doing to try and stay alive is refreshing to watch.
Hints of feminism are weaved throughout the film and the reversal of gender stereotypes is inspiring. It’s the opposite of a macho, male-led Bond film; really, I’m not sure that there is a film quite like this one.
So, if you’re into a film that has the comedy from Bad Moms mixed with the action from the Bourne movies, then you are in for one hysterical and cringe-filled night.
The Spy Who Dumped Me is in cinemas now.