Directed by: Susanna Fogel
Written by: Susanna Fogel, David Iserson
Produced by: Brian Grazer, Erica Huggins, Guy Riedel
Starring: Kate McKinnon, Mila Kunis, Gillian Anderson, Justin Theroux, Sam Heughan, Hasan Minhaj.
Who do you trust when the person you thought you could trust, tells you to trust no-one? Not even the bartender who just served you a few hours ago or the naked man your best friend has brought home so she can teach him to, ‘use his passive aggressive masculinity for good rather than evil’.
The film opens in Vilnius, Lithuania with Audrey’s (Mila Kunis) boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux) in a local market assembling a makeshift weapon with his woollen scarf and some eight balls, before he fights his way out, leaps from a tall building and speeds away on a conveniently located scooter. Audrey thinks he works in publicity, producing some kind of jazz and economics podcast that nobody listens to.
Back in Los Angeles it’s Audrey’s birthday and her uninhibited, attention-seeking best friend, Morgan (Kate McKinnon), is trying to cheer her up after Drew dumped her by text message. Not that dumping her was Drew’s real agenda.
From the moment Audrey takes over Drew’s mission to deliver his gold statuette to Verne in Vienna, she and Morgan find themselves on the run with nothing but their passports and the clothes they are wearing in a crazy chase across Europe with spies, assassins and double agents at every turn.
The action is over the top and overwhelming, the script is dazzling, not a plot hole in sight, and the sound design ranges across the full palette from explosions and the ping of high-calibre bullets to the Czech version of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots are Made for Walkin’’, but the heart of the movie is the friendship between Morgan and Audrey. The innate trust they share is in complete contrast to the illusions and fabrications perpetrated by the spies all around them. Even the cheese fondue turns deadly when the spies in the ‘fancy café’ reveal themselves.
Despite lacking most of the basic qualifications required for a career in the international spying trade, Audrey is a terrible liar (she puts way too much detail into her stories) and Morgan cannot keep a secret from her mum (not even dick pics), the pair of accidental spies discover that they do have one of the skills that every spy must have; they have a natural talent for improvisation. A series of speed humps provide an effective way to remove that unwanted motorcycle assassin from the roof of their Uber and a craftily coordinated hugging style of mugging allows them to to lift the passports from two unsporting Australian backpackers when they won’t hand them over voluntarily.
But it is not until Drew’s counterpart in MI6 escorts the pair to headquarters that things begin to turn around. Against her best intentions, Audrey might be beginning to forgive the gorgeous secret agent (Sam Heughan) who introduced himself by kidnapping her. While Morgan is awe-struck from the moment she realises that she is in the presence of the Judy Dench of British Intelligence (Gillian Anderson), an austerely beautiful woman with the perfect sneer, who doesn’t need to sacrifice her femininity when she orders some of the most violent operatives in the world to do exactly as she tells them.
If your thing is wild action comedies where two unlikely women have it over them all, then you won’t want to miss them in the most impressive Scandinavian flick turn I have ever seen.
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