Plot: Audrey (Mila Kunis) has just been dumped by her longtime boyfriend, via text no less, but her friend Morgan (Kate McKinnon) wants to distract her from that with some fun out on the town. After a wild night, things really get out of control when Audrey’s ex Drew (Justin Theroux) returns and after a violent shootout, is killed right in front of the two friends. As it turns out, Drew was involved in some mysterious operations and his last assignment was a crucial one, so Audrey decides to finish it on his behalf, while Morgan is just thrilled to take a vacation with her friend. As the two go deeper into the hidden side of Drew’s side, they are pulled into an outlandish and dangerous series of events. Can these two manage to survive and complete Drew’s final task, or are the friends in way over their heads?
Entertainment Value: The Spy Who Dumped Me seems like a wacky buddy comedy, but it is devoted to the spy movie elements and struggles to balance those spy tropes with the zany comedic threads. The narrative drops the broken heart routine quickly, then turns into a full on spy movie, just with unlikely spies in the leads. The film has a dark tone in a lot of scenes, with torture and some graphic violence, but the leads don’t take it seriously and crack jokes even their lives are in danger. If they were bad ass spies I could see that, but as average women wrapped up in a dangerous fight for survival, the lack of tension and stakes seems odd. At the same time, the action scenes are fun and the deaths are often brutal, so the spy elements are solid, while the humor lands when it is the focus and the leads have great chemistry. So the movie feels like these two separate threads are good on their own, but never weave together and that makes the picture a disjointed, inconsistent experience. I still think there’s enough that works to recommend it, but it could have been so much better.
Mila Kunis has the lead in this one and while she isn’t bad, she is the least interesting part of The Spy Who Dumped Me. I suppose putting a bland, forgettable character at the center of the movie could be part of the concept, but I think she drags down the movie and adds little to the picture. Again, she isn’t a bad actress, but she has little charisma or presence and is just there, more or less. This is especially evident when Kate McKinnon is also in scenes, as Kunis simply can’t keep pace. McKinnon’s manic, torrent of energy would be tough for anyone to keep up with, but Kunis makes no effort to dial up her energy level, so she winds up an afterthought. I can see if some viewers find McKinnon’s turn to be annoying or too campy, but I think without her wackiness, most of the movie would have stalled. The two have good chemistry, I just wish Kunis had more to bring to the table and McKinnon didn’t carry the entire movie. The cast also includes Justin Theroux, Sam Heughan, and Gillian Anderson.