Jackie and Chris, Jackie and Owen, and now Owen and Eddie - it's so easy. Simple laugh-your-ass-out buddy movies will never give room for the otherwise imperative barf bags associated with cinema halls. But I hear complaints about all 'em buddy movies being alike and being way too many. I hear them loud and clear ...and I don't care. There're a million worse ways you could waste 90 minutes of your oxygen consuming presence.
Alex Scott (Owen Wilson) is a dopey spy trying to win the heart of a fellow spy Rachel (Famke Janssen). When the two learn that they need to save the world from a madman with an invisible plane, whom do they call? Eddie Murphy.
This time around Eddie drops the cartoons and costumes to play Kelly Robinson, a self-important, wise-cracking motor mouth, boxing champ. The plan is to infiltrate the home in Budapest of an arms dealer, who happens to be an avid boxing fan, and host a match between Kelly Robinson and the reigning European champ. As Kelly rubs shoulders with the rich and powerful prior to the fight, Alex tags along to look for clues.
From the moment Alex and Kelly meet, the immediate sense of comic chemistry between them takes you on a trip with your dunce cap on. It's the
same love-hate relationship, a lot of which seems to be adlibbed. Eddie Murphy's Showtime woes with Robert DeNiro are shoved right up our noses as he stamps his authority once again as the king. And Owen Wilson is quite lovable with his laconic charm and all.
The flick however would be a pointless gassy explosion without THE mai-baap of all funny scenes: Alex wears this contact lens spy cam while he attempts to seduce Rachel, and Kelly Robinson watches and feeds him lines through the ear piece: "Give me that sexual... umm... feeling." Har! Har! The scriptwriter didn't cut the humor short or use five-second jokes to avoid the risk of having something on the screen for too long that the audience might not laugh at. And that has worked well.
Wilson spends most of the film trying to muster up the energy to approach Janssen. That love story never fully pans out, and neither does the story. It leaves a lot to be desired: an invisible stealth bomber named 'Switchblade'? The last time something this croak was heard was in the
dialogue between Musharaf and Atal.
Eddie is the diamond as he extends his sassy protagonist persona with another rip roaring exhibit. In some ways, his Kelly Robinson reminds one of his voice performances for Shrek's Donkey.
All in all, I Spy is really funny if you're the formula lover.