I Spy

Bomb Rating: 

"I Spy" might be nothing more than a cinematic annoyance akin to rolling around in beach sand and wondering afterward if that last speck or two will ever make its way out of your crack.

"I Spy" is like one of those really bad dreams where flying monkeys dressed in postal uniforms come after me wielding skewers and Ginsu knives while threatening to cut open my nutsack, detach my testicles and play a round of putt-putt golf with them, after which they'll spear the skewers through them and nibble them like hors d'oeuvres. Of course, maybe you don't have those kinds of dreams. In that case, "I Spy" might be nothing more than a cinematic annoyance akin to rolling around in beach sand and wondering afterward if that last speck or two will ever make its way out of your crack.

As far as I can tell, this film once had the notion of a script, but the dialogue was accomplished by allowing Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson to do whatever the hell they wanted. I also suspect that after Gary Cole was hired to play Alexander Scott's (Wilson) spy nemesis, Carlos, it was discovered that he couldn't do a Spanish accent consistently, so the failure was written into the script as a joke. Truly, the moment you realize the film can't decide whether Carlos's accent is intentional is like something out of "The Twilight Zone".

Murphy plays boxer Kelly Robinson, who has an obvious attitude because he always refers to himself in the third person. Whatever agency Scott works for decides to involve the self-absorbed Robinson in its mission to recover a spy plane from Gundars (Malcolm McDowell), who's planning to sell the thing to the highest bidder. Robinson and Scott cross paths with another spy, Rachel (Famke Janssen). Scott has a huge crush on her, so ladies' man Kelly tries to give him a few pointers, leading to some moments about as hilarious as trying to cut your tongue off with a pair of dull scissors.

I'm not sure who's up next in Owen Wilson's "Buddy-of-the-Month" Club, but I'd like to nominate Gilbert Gottfried. Actually, the only important thing is that whatever buddy he teams up with next, the person has to be loud, obnoxious or a severe methamphetamine addict, so that Wilson's quiet, slightly melancholy acting style will seem funny by comparison.

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