Winning lead actors and an unexpectedly hard edge make this frivolous action comedy worth the effort.
Mila Kunis (Bad Moms) and Kate McKinnon (Rough Night) star as BFs Audrey and Morgan, a retail clerk and an aspiring actor, respectively. When Audrey's boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux) dumps her via text, Morgan convinces her that burning his stuff will exorcise the pain. But just as they're about to do that, Drew gets in touch about a certain item he left in Audrey's possession and before long she and Morgan are gallivanting through Europe attempting to outrun a bevy of assassins and enemy intelligence agents.
Leaning in to its US "R" rating, the action elements of The Spy Who Dumped Me are surprisingly brutal – this film has an insanely high number of on-screen deaths. Bourne and Bond stunt co-ordinator Gary Powell brings the full force of his talents to the movie and it's stacked with the kind of bombastic set-pieces that you wouldn't necessarily anticipate in an action comedy with this film's marketing. The slickness of these action scenes help sell the film's sense of black humour.
Beyond the gun play and jokes, it's the friendship between Audrey and Morgan that really makes this film work – their endearing dedication to each other is never threatened, even by life and death situations, and it makes for a sweet ode to strength of sisterhood, enhanced no end by McKinnon's physical comedy prowess.
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Sam Heughan (Outlander) gives good support as a British agent who teams up with Audrey and Morgan, while Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) is hilarious in an extended cameo as his boss.
Perhaps a touch too long, this film nevertheless proves its worth with a surfeit of charm and a highly appealing cast.
Cast: Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon
Director: Susanna Fogel
Running time: 117 minutes
Rating: R16 (Strong violence, offensive language and nudity)
Verdict: Impressive action with plenty of chuckles.