When you look up “The Spy Who Dumped Me” and see the movie poster, it’s obvious who’s the lead star. While the poster bills both Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon equally, we know who’s the bigger lead. This time, however, it’s the sidekick who steals the show. And it’s a good thing. A refreshing change. After all, we are so used to seeing movies where sidekicks are restricted to providing comic relief.
Susanna Fogel’s spy-action-adventure veers away from the conventional format and shines the limelight on roles that are usually second fiddle. Kate McKinnon, who plays Morgan, best friend to Mila Kunis’ Audrey, emerges as the star of the show. While it’s obvious that she is a talented comic, the material complemented her chops.
Thanks to a script by Fogel and David Iserson, McKinnon receives equal, if not more, exposure. And that’s airtime she absolutely deserves. Her dialogues are on point and hilarious. A number of her decisions turn out beneficial for her and Kunis’ character.
Audrey and Morgan are best friends whose lives abruptly changed when Audrey’s ex-boyfriend, Drew (Justin Theroux) turns out to be a spy who is hunted down. After an attack on her home, Audrey suddenly finds herself and best friend Morgan on a plane to Vienna to deliver a package to someone they do not know. They soon become embroiled in a murderous plot where they don’t have any idea who to trust.
Staying true to other spy-action films, “The Spy Who Dumped Me” takes us to various exotic European locations: Austria, Hungary, France, Germany, and Amsterdam.
It’s a good thing this is a comedy, though, because it takes our attention away from some of plot holes like how in the world Morgan managed to survive a close-range fight with a trained assassin, learn how to trapeze like an Olympian, and make it through several shootings by trained killers.
That’s because the crazy antics of McKinnon are hiliarious. In fact, if you think about it, most, if not all, of the funny moments are courtesy of the SNL alum.
Morgan also raises a really good point, which, upon closer scrutiny, becomes the movie’s theme. When taken in by the CIA for questioning, they meet Wendy (Gillian Anderson) who impresses Morgan so much, she wants to become part of the group. She mentions ‘feminism’ on more than one occasion.
It’s interesting, at one point, when an assassin is introduced: a conventional model–skinny and beautiful–but, for a moment, we wonder if there will be a backlash because of body image issues. As you delve deeper into the movie, though, you’ll realize that the writers are trying to show what women empowerment is, and that includes giving us the entire picture: portraying women of different shapes, sizes, and backgrounds as empowered in their own ways.
The movie’s all fun, but it’s admirable in its attempt to add depth to its message. And the great thing is that that message is wrapped in a cute, quirky wrapper, thanks to Kate McKinnon.