I really enjoy supporting women writers/directors, which is perhaps why I was a bit disappointed by Susanna Fogel’s buddy-comedy caper which, unfortunately, wastes the prodigious talent of SNL’s Kate McKinnon.
In the midst of a shootout at an open air market in Vilnius, Lithuania, halfway across the world in Los Angeles, Audrey (Mila Kunis) is celebrating her 30th birthday, having just been dumped – via text – by one of the gunmen, Drew (Justin Theroux). He’s a C.I.A. agent and he doesn’t want to place Audrey in danger.
That’s the set-up. While Audrey seeks solace with her roommate/BFF Morgan (Kate McKinnon), Drew suddenly crashes through her apartment window, explaining that the fate of the free world depends on delivering a cheap, plastic 2nd place football trophy (containing a USB drive) to a contact at a café in Vienna. Then he’s killed – well, supposedly.
Determined to complete Drew’s mission, wading knee-deep in dangerous espionage, stoic Audrey and impulsively manic Morgan scamper around Europe on stolen passports – touching down in Vienna, Prague, Paris and Berlin – crossing paths with another pair of operatives, suave Sebastian (Sam Heughan) and Harvard alum Duffer (Hasan Minhaj).
Although they call Morgan’s suburban parents (Jane Curtin, Paul Reiser) for help, they’re drugged, kidnapped, and tortured by a psychotic Russian gymnast named Nadedja (Ivanna Sakhno).
Teaming with TV vet David Iserson on the poop joke-filled script, director Susanna Fogel can’t quite pull off the violent, blood-splattered action set pieces, even aided by “Game Night” cinematographer Barry Peterson and veteran stunt coordinator Gary Powell.
It’s obvious that stunt doubles did the challenging stuff, like when McKinnon fights a villain while dangling on a trapeze 50’ in the air. And – plot-wise, how did Drew come back to life – after Audrey checked his pulse to confirm he was dead?
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On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Spy Who Dumped Me” is a silly 6, a screwball spoof that’s salvaged only by the sarcastic sincerity of Kate McKinnon’s skewering MI6’s icy chief (Gillian Anderson).