I’d like to say I Spy is based on the ’60′s TV series of the same name, but that’s like saying sticky-fingered Winona Ryder is based on Al Capone. The series starred Bill Cosby and Robert Culp. Here, they’ve replaced the Coz’ with the Blahs and there’s no Culp but plenty of Culpability.
Whenever an audience laughs at the appearance of “Uzbekistan” in the subtitles, you can bet that explains the short bus in the theater parking lot and the long lines for movies starring Eddie Murphy.
According to the English subtitles, folks in Uzbekistan swear by exclaiming “Stalin’s Butt!” Stalin’s butt?! Who lives in Uzbekistan, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsenov?
The president needs to recapture a super-secret (because there’s no secret that isn’t super) plane, so naturally this is a job for middleweight world champion boxer Eddie Murphy – yes, I said middleweight world champion boxer Eddie Murphy. Which is why they call it “a movie.” Who knew “middleweight” means old and puny?
There’s nothing “middle” about this featherweight and feather-headed plot. It’s so hum drum, I’d rather hum or drum than go into detail about it. I kept waiting for some animated cutlery to burst into song.
Eddie, fresh from the debacle of Pluto Nash now brings you some Pluto Gnashing of teeth. But no matter. Bad projects roll off Eddie like pants off Christina Aquilera.
I love it when Eddie tries to sound “street.” The only streets he knows are finely manicured and dotted with multi-million dollar estates. Nowadays, Eddie’s acting out every role like his co-star is Shrek, thus proving Eddie’s better when he looks like a jackass than when he acts like one.
With Owen’s help, Eddie needs to recover the spy plane before a terrorist uses it to deliver weapons of mass destruction much like Sony just did in your neighborhood Cineplex with I Spy.
The stolen plane is so special because it’s invisible, and if you’re in the audience you’ll wish you were too.
So Owen and Eddie go spying – in Budapest! What’s to spy on in Budapest!? A secret goulash formula?
And why send a boxer on a spy mission, anyway? To float like a butterfly and sting black market arms dealers like a bee? Have you heard the average boxer strain to join two words into a coherent two-word pair? One of my personal rules is this: Don’t try and save the world if you sign your name with an “X.”
Spread out! Here comes Famke Janssen, the Catherine Zeta Jones of B movies. One time Bond girl Famke’s presence is the sure sign a bloated budget has already been busted over more must-have production elements.
Malcolm McDowell once again proves he’s as picky about roles as dogs are picky about what genitals they sniff. When did Malcolm McDowell become Malcolm McDonalds? Wearing the proverbial black hat, Malcolm personifies evil in a way only a marquee actor who speaks five lines and gets clipped mid-way through a mediocre movie can.
I Spy has been rated PG for predictability, screenwriting by committee, and performances mailed in without sufficient postage.
Consider yourself warned. I Spy, but you stay home.
Photos Copyright ©2002 Columbia Pictures