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Review: Strong chemistry doesn't equal big laughs in 'The Spy Who Dumped Me'

Courtesy of Lionsgate


Running close to the two-hour mark, it’s apparent by the midway checkpoint that “The Spy Who Dumped Me” is coasting on fumes. Action gimmicks, slapstick and low-grade raunchy humor punctuate this action-comedy which stars Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon (both likable and fun to watch) in one of the more forgettable adventures of the summer. 

Appropriately earning its place in the depths of August, Lionsgate’s executives will hope to benefit from groups having a few drinks heading into this potential sleeper, because it's probably the only way audiences might enjoy the fun, give or a take a few McKinnon improvs that will produce a snicker or two. 

Half romantic-comedy (mostly B-movie mega carnage) “Dumped Me” opens on the streets of Lithuania, where a beefy looking Justin Theroux is fending off some bad guys in a rather macho sequence, which gets the movie off to an odd start - considering the film was billed as a romantic-comedy (if that be the case, this is one of the bloodiest rom/coms of the last five years). Theroux’s Drew is a CIA operative who’s been working a mission for the past year, and using grocery store cashier Audrey (Mila Kunis) as his cover (an oddly placed framing device keeps cutting back and forth between present day, and to the year before when these lovebirds met. It never works and the film seems to forget about it halfway through.) When they break-up, that doesn’t bode well with Audrey and her BFF Morgan (Kate McKinnon - being the sole bright spot in a dull movie) but surprise comes in many forms, and the pair are - very quickly - roped into an international scavenger hunt involving a security hard drive that, of course, has the power to kill millions.

From Paris, Germany and Vienna - “Dumped Me” visits many interesting locales and can’t find anything for Kunis or McKinnon to do other than spout cheap one-liners and throw insults at their self-esteems. Kunis - in particular - stands around with awkward expressions on her face diligently, leaving McKinnon to do all the leg work. Director Susanna Fogel does stage a few nifty action sequences, one which comes to mind involves a high-stakes shootout inside a café in Vienna, and it ends with a goon being drowned in fondue.  

“The Spy Who Dumped Me” has ambition, yet when surrounded by a cardboard plot, flimsy characteristics and ill-timed jokes regarding Edward Snowden, even a talented cast lacks the motive to save the vibe. This movie won’t dump you without any laughs for the ride home, but you might end up feeling cheated.

Grade: C

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