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Two totally incompetent applicants, Emmett Fitzhume and Austin Millbarge, are chosen from a CIA recruitment program. They are parachuted into Pakistan and eventually end up in Afghanistan, chased by the Russians, where they learn they are being used as decoys to draw out the Soviet defenses. Two real spies are sent in. Their mission is to hijack a Soviet missile launcher, launch the Soviet missile, and test the new U.S. orbital defense laser. The missile is fired, and while heading for an American city the laser system misses its target. The contingency plan for this scenario, as set out by the Pentagon nuts who planned it from deep within a secret underground bunker, is to let the 3rd World War happen anyway. Written by
I first saw Spies Like Us when I was a kid, when Chevy Chase was my favourite actor. I must have seen it about fifty times since then and I am almost word-perfect on the script. However, I've never owned the DVD since Warner have never released it in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Thankfully it is currently available in HD on the PlayStation network.
Emmett Fitz-Hume and Austin Millbarge (Chase and Aykroyd) are two lowly government workers who are suddenly promoted to the elite GLG-20 spy status after they are caught cheating on a test. What they don't know is that they are just decoys to draw heat away from the real spies and are promptly dumped straight into enemy territory.
Chase and Aykroyd have great chemistry together and I'm surprised they didn't work together much after this (although they did hook up for The Couch Trip, Caddyshack 2 and Nothing But Trouble). There's loads of fun to had in watching them bumble from one zany situation from the next. And, as this is a Landis film, there are director cameos all over the place. Keep a lookout for Terry Gilliam, Martin Brest, Joel Coen, Sam Raimi etc.
Despite the fanbase, Warner have never showed this film any respect or given special treatment of any kind when it comes to the home video market. As I already said, as of yet the only DVD available is the fullscreen version from 1998. Even the HD version I watched was from a very murky print and has terrible sound. If Warner make a Blu Ray from this master it's still not worth buying.
Give it a rent unless a proper remaster is done. Which is unlikely.
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