The Spy Who Dumped Me

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

Audrey and Morgan are best friends who unwittingly become entangled in an international conspiracy when one of the women discovers the boyfriend who dumped her was actually a spy.

*Minor spoilers*

I loved this stupid film. I’m in love with Mila Kunis, sue me. Pair her with Kate McKinnon and as far as I’m concerned you’re onto a winner. It’s a very silly romp sure but a very good, girl power one.

When Audrey gets dumped over text by her elusive boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux), her BFF Morgan is on hand to help her through it. After attempting to burn his stuff, he gets in touch and tells her he’ll be home soon to explain everything. Unfortunately, before this happens she is accosted by the feds who reveal his true identity.

Audrey is shocked to learn that her boyfriend is actually a spy. Well, I’ve been out with much worse tbf. When Drew finally makes contact again, he gives her instruction to travel to Europe with a secret package which Morgan encourages her do because why not? Neither of them have ever been. And the rest is a blur of spy activity which the girls quickly discover they’re actually pretty good at.

But who are the good guys, who are the bad guys – and who the hell is Drew really? Via a backdrop of glamorous European locations and elaborate disguises, our girls get to the bottom of just what the fuck is going down – which they find is easier said than done.

Hot on their heels is nimble super assassin Nadedja (Ivanna Sakhno) and the feds themselves, led by their boss Wendy (Gillian Anderson). There might be a new love interest in the mix too in the form of pretty Sebastian (Sam Heughan), one of the agents on Drew’s case.

Well it’s a romp alright and I laughed my arse off. McKinnon is always good but sometimes suffers for the material she’s given while Kunis has tremendous comic timing. Together I totally bought their chemistry as best friends – and I found it refreshing that there’s no side story in which the two of them fall out. Their friendship remains intact to the end.

I hope they turn this into a franchise because I haven’t had this much fun with female spies since well, Spy. But also Charlie’s Angels.

My Rating

4.5/5.

Mission: Impossible – Fall Out

Mission: Impossible – Fall Out (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.

*Minor spoilers*

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and pals (Ving RhamesSimon Pegg) accidentally bungle a mission, something to do with three stolen plutonium cores and believed-to-be-dead super villain Soloman Lane’s (Sean Harris) terrorist group “The Apostles”.

I mean, they only fuck up because they value friendship but the result is a pissed off CIA Director (Angela Bassett) and a new operative sent to shadow them and keep the team in check (a mustachioed Henry Cavill). As the gang, including their new mate Superman take action to make up for their mistakes and get hold of the damn plutonium, they’re forced to come face to face with Lane again. There are also tonnes of other spy scenarios and honestly, this is the film of the Summer, hands down.

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I’m not going to go into the intricacies of the narrative here, all I can say is that it’s tight AF with double crosses for dayzzz. We meet new characters, get to chill with familiar ones – all while Ethan wrestles broken helicopters, leaps off high-rise buildings and proves that Tom Cruise may be a fruit loop IRL but is still firmly in the top three action movies stars working today. And you can quote me on that, I actually love to watch him on the big screen and yes, I know he’s problematic.

Support is strong in the hands of Rhames and Pegg, while the women do not disappoint (obviously). Rebecca Ferguson returns as Ilsa Faust (she first appears in Rogue Nation) while Bassett is the Queen she always is. Vanessa Kirby is a lot of fun as The White Widow too. 

I loved this ride and I’m excited to see where it goes next. Not only is it one of the strongest in the series (Mission: Impossible III is my fave because of Philip Seymour Hoffman), it’s also one of the best films I’ve seen this year. 

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I’m ready for the all-female remake

Don’t sleep on this if you’re into action – try to catch it if you can.

My Rating

4.5/5.

 

Red Sparrow

Red Sparrow (2018)

Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling

IMDB Synopsis

Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to ‘Sparrow School,’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

*Minor spoilers*
Dominika is a highly respected prima ballerina until the day she suffers an unfortunate (and career-ending) accident. With her dreams over and a very sick mother at home to care for, what’s a girl to do? Particularly when her manipulative uncle is in town, whispering in her ear, telling her he’s got just the thing to help everyone concerned.

Well, he isn’t about to set her up with a Saturday job in the local bookshop, you know what I mean? He recognises something in Dominika that’s about to change her life forever – and not necessarily in a good way. Dependent on your views on espionage, murder and honey trappery, that is.

But before all that, D must go to spy school and I think it would be safe to say that if these are the best years of her life then… maybe it’s time to hang up her pencil skirt and skip town. Double maths suddenly doesn’t seem so harsh.

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This is a film I went into with no expectation and ended up having a good time. It tries to be clever with its twist and turns, and it’s not that smart or complex really. Jen is insanely hot as expected and the camera just adores her. It’s good to see her stretching herself in new ways, this and Mother! seem like departures from her more vanilla/pretty face roles. I want more of that please, Jen.

I did find quite a lot of the sexual violence hard to stomach, naturally. It’s never a nice or comfortable thing to witness. That said, there’s a lot of violence to go around everyone and I feel in some ways as though this would have been a better film had it received an 18 certificate. Sometimes it felt like it was holding back and I wanted more: more arse-kicking and definitely more time spent at spy school. It feels like having Charlotte Rampling on the bill and not doing much with her was a wasted opportunity – and we only get a snap shot of the curriculum and the other students.

All in all, this was not the trash I expected. Sure, it might not remain in my mind for long but JLaw’s turn was pretty knockout given the material she has to work with – and I’m excited for more of that. And if I barely mention anyone else then that’s because I was fixated on Jen the whole time – her wardrobe is TDF.

Mary-Louise Parker is pretty satisfying though as Stephanie Boucher, the treacherous (and drunk) chief of staff for a U.S. Senator. There were also lots of men, white men everywhere and, perhaps apart from Schoenaerts, could have been played by anyone. Even you, Jeremy Irons.

My Rating

4/5.