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I Spy /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Owen Wilson, Famke Janssen, Malcolm McDowell, Mike Dopud 

Directed by: Betty Thomas 

Produced by: Betty Thomas, Jenno Topping, Mario Kassar, Andrew Vajna, Andrew G. Vajna 

Written by: Cormac Wibberly, Marianne Wibberley, Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Ronald Bass, Robert Harling

Distributor: Columbia Pictures

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     “I Spy” was a popular television series that ran in the 1960’s. It starred Bill Cosby and Robert Culp as fellow secret agents; one being black, the other white. The new version, put to film, also called I Spy, stars Owen Wilson and Eddie Murphy. It offers a few laughs and a good time, but is lacking originality. We get the old humor that Wilson and Murphy chose to continuously use, the now boring and repetitive secret agent wannabe scheme and a couple of laughs. With Austin Powers in Goldmember, xXx, and Bad Company, it isn’t possible for the filmmaking industry to once again swiftly squeeze in another secret agent parody into the mix.

     The film opens up to a secret agent running from some crazed villagers in a foreign country during very low temperatures. The agent, Alexander Scott, played by Owen Wilson, is extremely klutzy and can’t get his numerous gadgets together. The video then focuses its attention back to headquarters, where they are discussing a new mission that Alexander will be head of. He will be teamed up with Kelly Robinson (Eddie Murphy), the top boxer in the country of America. Robinson will be fighting for the champion’s title in Budapest the next week. He is a happy man and is full of himself, but takes on this job at the government when they tell him he is the only one who can do the job and will be a hero if he succeeds in doing so. The night before his match, an invisible spy plane, called the “Switch Blade” will be auctioned off at privet party. If this plane is left in the wrong hands, many bad things could happen, though the script doesn’t exactly specify what. The reason why Mr. Robinson will be able to get into this party is because it is disguised as an advertisement for the boxing event. Mr. Scott, the real secret agent will pretend to be his butler, and sneak into the room where the bids are being exchanged and logged on a computer. By doing this, he will hopefully find a way to steal the plane and get it back to the FBI. There are some laughs along the way caused Wilson and Murphy’s constant improvisation and well written comedy. I Spy is fun and entertaining, but is too much of a rehash to give a strong recommendation.

     I did like the special effects, which are seemingly necessary to making a good comedy these days. There are some cool gadgets and great pickup lines to go with them, though it is nothing we haven’t seen before. The chase scenes and skits which involve “The Switchblade” are fun to watch and despite the farfetched sense of realism, they are delectable to watch. I especially liked a scene where Murphy and Wilson were riding a motorcycle-like vehicle. It made me smile, and respect the effort put into it all at one time, which is hard to come by.

      To reach a conclusion, I must state that I Spy is worth a watch, but never grasps the concept of “good” filmmaking. Murphy and Wilson are able to make us laugh in a couple of scenes but not nearly as much as in their previous works. There are some creative and visually entertaining images that are able to make us chuckle, but not break out in laughter. The flick is clever, but not inventive. If you aren’t expecting a Zoolander or Nutty Proffessor, than I Spy will definitely dish out a good time at the movies for you and your companions.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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