I Spy (2002)

(TMN-Go Streaming, September 2016) As far as spy comedies go, I Spy is almost exactly what it claims to be: Mismatched protagonists (Owen Wilson as a borderline-incompetent spy, Eddie Murphy as an arrogant motormouth boxer pressed in covert service), a handful of action sequences, a serviceable plot meant to string along the comic sequences and a somewhat generic East-European setting. It goes through the motion of its buddy comedy/spy movie hybrid plot, features some nice scenery and lets its lead actors do whatever they want in roles closely aligned with their persona. Wilson is fine and almost unremarkable, whereas Murphy does a little better by virtue of a showier role—his ringside introduction is remarkably effective, for instance. Otherwise, there isn’t much to say about the plot (which features an invisible super-plane parked in the middle of a city) nor the supporting character. I’m sort of amazed that I managed to miss it during all those years, and that I never realized that it was so close in tone and subject matter to Bad Company, which also came out at more or less the same time. I Spy is by no means a classic, but it’s decently entertaining once you get past the dumb script, and you even get one or two flashes of classic Eddie Murphy.

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