Before I get started, let's agree to agree that Kate McKinnon is a national treasure. I'm indifferent to Mila Kunis in general, just as I'm indifferent to run-of-the-mill espionage plots like the one wedged into The Spy Who Dumped Me. However, if you are also one of those people who would watch Kate McKinnon play dead, you will like The Spy Who Dumped Me. (I am one of those people.)
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I will do my best to explain the plot. It's hard for me to piece this sort of thing together, just like it's hard for me to tell who's who in gangster movies with lots of white character actors in hats. Mila Kunis is a nice young woman who lives in Silverlake and works at an organic grocery, but she's existentially bored. She's been dating Justin Theroux, who is hot and sort of a loser, but she doesn't know he's secretly a spy for the CIA. Or something. He dumps her - spoiler? - and she nearly burns his fantasy football trophy. But it's a good thing she doesn't, because spies from all over the world want to get their hands on it, for reasons we'll find out later.
So Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon - oh, they're besties - have take the trophy to Vienna, and then Prague, and then Paris. There are car chases and jokes about American tourists. There are shootouts, costume changes, and punchlines about the giants of European literature. You will meet an androgynous acrobat-gymnast-supermodel-race-car-driver, whom you are obviously going to love even though you're not supposed to. Oh, and for those who were wondering, there is indeed an extended action sequence that takes place on a flying trapeze. There are some other hot guys involved too, and everything gets bloody. There are probably ten distinct movies tossed about in here, because you can't make a studio comedy without an action component anymore, but also because Susanna Fogel is a smart writer and director who fills her movie with so much activity that you don't realize the gears are usually turning in spazzy directions.
Ridiculous or not, The Spy Who Dumped Me is at its best when it gives Kate McKinnon do whatever she wants to do. It's a pity she shares all her scenes with the lovely and likeable Mila Kunis, with whom she has only a little chemistry. Luckily, McKinnon is basically a Vitamix with the top left off: Give her a bunch of unlikely ingredients, plug her in, and she'll very capably make them delicious and leave a splash of goodness on everything around her. Bless her.
The midterm elections are a hundred days away. We may be going to war with Iran because it would keep eyeballs off the Manafort trial and the Mueller investigation. Jeff Sessions is now leading a "religious liberty task force" from his position at the Justice Department. Fascism and nationalism are on the rise throughout Europe. They may never make the Barbra Streisand Gypsy remake. These are terrible times. I'm a film critic. I could give this movie a bad review if I wanted to. But I'm not going to fuss over a movie just because it did not do anything surprising and new as it made me chuckle. For fuck's sake, people, this is a movie in which Gillian Anderson shows up right on time and serves not one but three strong monochromatic looks. You can turn all one hundred and seventeen minutes of this movie upside down and shake empty its pockets but you won't find a single pretension. Smack dab in the middle of this hellish summer I had a lot of harmless fun at the movies tonight and I have only The Spy Who Dumped Me to thank.