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I Spy (2002)

I Spy (2002)

Comedic duo Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson starring in a Spy movie!

I was happy to find the title, but not so convinced when I started watching it. Eddie was getting on my nerves a bit, Owen was being a little too calm to counter Eddie's hyperdrive, and they didn't seem to be getting along very well, which made me not get along too well with them. Was that just part of the movie, or did their chemistry get better on set? Even though they don't always think alike, their personalities grow on me.

The action's not bad, though the plot feels a bit generic. Invisible plane hijacked, on sale to highest bidder, Owen & Sidekick on the case. There's a femme fatale involved too, and a competing agent. They fight themselves, and then the bad guys, and though it's all entertaining and nicely filmed it still feels somewhat predictable.

It reminds me a bit of Rush Hour 3 in some scenes btw, but without the martial arts. Feels like an underdog of the genre, good enough more people should know about, and yet... not good enough that I'll remember it a decade from now. It just doesn't have that spark, that special something that makes it stand out. Except for a catchy title.

 rated 3/5: not bad

January, 2018

I Spy (2002)

It all starts at the top of Tian Shan mountains... then at the bottom of the Tian Shan mountains. XD That intro...

I think I enjoyed this movie more than I did last time. Owen may seem almost too calm compared to Eddie, and Eddie almost too aggressive and ADHD-ish compared to Owen, but in the long run... they're a pretty good duo after all. They balance each other out, and the comedy's both well-scripted and creative. It really isn't like other movies of the sort, even with certain specific reoccurring themes (like the chase, the bathhouse, the sewers, the breakup, the showdown). It takes plenty of odd turns along the way. It feels both refreshing and reminiscent... and not just because I've seen it before, or because Jackie Chan and Owen played a similar duo in a separate spy franchise but because the whole spy movie genre just seems to follow a similar formula.

It was a refreshing watch in a lot of ways, and I think the only thing really keeping it from a higher score is the lack of PACE. It's a ton of fun, and the action's there, but you never really feel a threat. It's light-hearted, harmless and expectable... even when the bodies are riddled with bullet holes. Good to entertain, but not to really give that thorough immersion.

The filming though: great angles, and great detail. I miss the movies from this era for some reason, it feels like they had more... clarity. Some sets aren't all realistic, but the bigger portion's just perfect. Still the same rating... but maybe a bit higher? Not spectacular, but all good.

UPD: I thought this movie was based on an older movie - and planned to see that one later, but as it turns out it was a series. I Spy, 1965-1968. 82 episodes starring Bill Cosby and Robert Culp! I probably won't be taking the time to see that, but it looks pretty good.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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