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The Spy Who Dumped Me review – a surprisingly violent, but insanely fun buddy comedy

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Verdict: As is the case with any spoof, The Spy Who Dumped Me isn’t best appreciated for its realism. It is however a very fun way to spend two hours and a real testament to the strength and purity of real friendship.

Spy films are a firm favourite with cinema-going audiences, crammed to the brim with explosive action sequences, adventurous destinations, and passionate, flighty romances. Spy spoofs, when done well, take the traditional spy formula and add in a generous slathering of humour. Susanna Fogel’s The Spy Who Dumped Me is no exception.

The Spy Who Dumped Me centres on Audrey (Mila Kunis) and her fiercely loyal best friend, Morgan (Kate McKinnon) as they trek through Europe, following the death of Audrey’s ex-boyfriend, who just so happens to have been a spy. After Morgan convinces Audrey to go to Europe for the first time to fulfil her ex-boyfriend’s dying wish, the women – who are absolutely not trained in the art of espionage – are met with, to name but a few, motorcycle chases in Vienna, gymnast assassins in Germany, and murder in Prague. Not your typical European holiday…

The film is surprisingly bloody for a spoof, with most of the motorcyclists in the chase being killed off in gruesome ways, scenes of torture, and a man who seemingly is killed through suffocation in a vat of fondue. The body count (and the amount of onscreen deaths that come with it) rivals some of the most gory spy films.

But more than just a catalogue of death scenes, The Spy Who Dumped Me is a great buddy comedy that specialises in “buddy”; one of the rare pairings that allows the buddies to actually be friends, as opposed to stark opposites thrown together by chance and kept together by necessity. McKinnon’s chemistry with Kunis is palpable and they bounce off each other perfectly.

Though Kunis is arguably the star of the movie, McKinnon, in her comediac role, steals the show. Morgan is the best friend that everyone deserves: she convinces Audrey to take chances, she is a great wingman and she even risks losing their chance to escape to praise Audrey for her quick thinking and some gun-toting worthy of an actual spy. McKinnon is lovably zany as Morgan; and not the grating zany that comes off as false, but genuinely sweet kookiness. Her phone conversations with her parents are a real treat.

The female influence on the movie is apparent through the believability of Audrey and Morgan’s friendship. Their friendship is what makes the movie so funny and the realness of it overshadows the confusion of the plot. It is clear that the strong bond that Audrey and Morgan share precedes everything else that makes up the film: the spy antics, the romance, and the violence all take a backseat to the driving force of their relationship.

The Spy Who Dumped Me is out now, distributed by Lionsgate.

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