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I Spy
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I Spy More at IMDbPro »

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34 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

A Decent Laugh

5/10
Author: tributarystu from Timisoara, Romania
10 January 2003

I always liked Owen Wilson and Eddie Murphy, so I thought, in case the movie is worth nothing, I'd still get to see some friendly faces. For better or worse, I can say it was about what I expected.

I put this movie in two categories, and I think I placed it right: it's a decent comedy, with parts attempting to live up to an action movie. At its heart though it tries to be comedic and funny, so that's upon what it should be judged. Thankfully, you will get the chance to laugh out loud, but unfortunately not as much as you'd like to laugh out loud at a comedy. I won't even mention rolling on the floor.

The story isn't something really new, but it has quite a few humorous plot twists. The so-called funny character is Kelly, who really inflicts a fair amount of pain on his adversaries, but he is just such a nicely drawn, egocentric guy, that it actually works on a comedic level. It's always just about him, and him and then some more.

The actors have their charm but I won't really dwell on this as they are as high profile as it gets, Hollywood style, so you know what you get. Perhaps Wilson could have spiced up his game with a bit of the unexpected, but all in all he does what he does best.

I did feel a bit let down by the special effects, with some flimsy looking explosions placed here and there. However, the host city of Budapest looked really gorgeous throughout, making it well worth it's money shots.

To draw the line, the film isn't great, but it's fine enough. No brilliant ideas, or anything like that, just the usual comic stuff.

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24 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Slight and nothing new, but enjoyable nonetheless

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
20 September 2003

When a top secret camouflaged plane is stolen and hidden, secret agency BNS needs to get an agent into Hungary to uncover and prevent the sale of the weapon. Agent Alex Scott is selected to go undercover with civilian boxer Kelly Robinson and use his upcoming fight to gain access. However Kelly is less co-operative than first hoped and the mission risks being compromised. Can they stay out of trouble long enough to stop the sale?

Take a little bit of Shanghai Noon, a little bit of Rush Hour, remove the oriental spice from the stew et viola! – you've got I Spy! By mixing the essence of Jackie Chan's sidekicks from both these films and putting the resultant stew into a comedy spy movie you have this enjoyable if unspectacular film. Wilson does his usual stuff but is still effortlessly funny, Murphy does his best Chris Tucker impression and does a good job playing a little dumb and is funny as well.

The plot sees them doing, well, it doesn't really matter what they're doing, just that Wilson is Wilson and Murphy is playing up to good effect! The plot just about provides enough material to keep the film going, but the odd moment where the comedy banter quietens down, the weaknesses of the plot are immediately laid bare. This is not to say it isn't good enough for this type of film, but just that at times it is all very slight and a bit thin. The comedy is more based on banter than anything else, so if you like the two aforementioned Chan movies then this should be enjoyable as the humour is of the same vein.

The support cast are all pretty average. Janssen does an OK job looking pretty but Malcolm McDowell just shows his face to no great effect. The funniest cameo is Gary Cole who plays an Irish spy playing a Cuban – he is just so unexpected in his actions that I had to be amused (of course he is helped by Wilson'' reactions to his character).

Overall this was kinda overlooked at the UK box office and I think it was because it was very slight and flimsy. However for gentle laughs based on good banter rather than set up jokes, this is a surprisingly fun comedy despite not sticking in your mind for longer than 15 minutes after you watch it.

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18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious sometimes, annoying at others

Author: Andrew DiMonte (NoArrow) from My House, Canada
18 July 2003

"I Spy" is an action comedy starring Owen Wilson as the opposite of your usual James Bond, and Eddie Murphy as the cocky boxer assigned to help him. Wilson and Murphy are pretty funny together, but sometimes their constant arguing gets overdone and rather old.

Still, the two have good chemistry and you will always be sure to laugh when you put on "I Spy". About the action, well, it's okay. It sure isn't as good as "Bad Boys" or "Bad Company", but that's not really what this film is geared for anyway. Plus, Murphy and Wilson are STILL ARGUING during the action (this is when it gets old!).

Entertaining, but a little annoying, I give "I Spy" a 6.5/10.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

I Spy no chance of a sequel

7/10
Author: Adrian Smith (trouserpress) from Eastbourne, England
9 February 2004

Another Hollywood offering based on the time honoured principle of remaking classic TV shows to guarantee financial returns. However, unlike some that still managed to flop, I Spy for the most part delivers.

The story is typical Bond-style spy action: Someone has stolen a top secret invisible plane from the American government and is selling it on the black market, and it's up to our heroes to get it back. The story is secondary to the comedy in this movie, mostly between its two stars - Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson. Murphy reprises his wise-cracking sidekick role, last seen in Shrek. Instead of a talking donkey though, this time he is a world-champion boxer. If you can with-hold your disbelief of this concept for ninety minutes his performance is fairly enjoyable. At times there is a glimpse of great chemistry between his egotistical celebrity and Wilson's downtrodden spy in love.

Unfortunately this is a movie that suffers from an identity crisis: Is this a spy thriller with jokes, or is it an all out spoof of the genre? Because of this the movie falls somewhat uncomfortably between the two, with long periods with no jokes at all followed by hilarious set-pieces.

Having said all this, I Spy is still fairly entertaining, and if you're just looking for a film to fill a friday evening you could do a lot worse than to choose this one.

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

This teaming could've been funnier

7/10
Author: tastyhotdogs from Australia
21 October 2005

Every ten years or so, a comedy comes along that redefines Movie Comedy. Police Academy, Coming To America, Wayne's World & Austin Powers are some recent examples. This isn't another one.

It's fair to say I hadn't been as excited about the pairing of Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson since Pacino and DeNiro in "Heat". The movie seemed to have all the ingredients, but an ordinary script and the "max factor" of Kelly Robinson made sure this movie never reached it's potential. Don't get me wrong, there's a few gems, most notably when Eddie's character helps Owen pick up a woman and when the two have a brilliant heart-to-heart in a sewer. Unfortunately there's not enough of these moments and we're left wanting more. Still worth seeing though.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

An unfairly bashed, but still routine pop action/comedy.

Author: Spider-Lou from Bristol, CT
22 November 2002

We all know Eddie Murphy's classic scene in "48 Hours" when he sings The Police's "Roxanne" off key. Now about 20 years after, in this movie he sings Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" on key! While the scene he did so in "I Spy" was amusing, it was not what the 48 Hrs scene was. So let's face facts, Eddie ain't what he used to be.

He once again parodies himself in a role, albeit in a lesser way than in "Bowfinger" and "Showtime". I don't care much for Owen Wilson, but he actually plays off Eddie well as a straight man. The two have decent on-screen chemistry. If this movie did a little more business, these two could talk sequel.

As for the movie, there are actually funny scenes, where Wilson's character Alex is given second-hand spy gadgets; Kelly Robinson teases his boxing opponent in a pre-fight; a plane dive to coerce Kelly into working. Plenty to go around. The action scenes are not bad, with the exception of the silly balloon sequence. That part should have been rewritten. And of course, I cannot neglect Famke Jannsen in her underwear.

It would have been better if "I Spy" had copied the more serious, realistic and dramatic TV series of the same name. Alas, it is much like soda, acceptable only because the vastly superior "48 Hrs" exists to wash its pasty aftertaste out of our mouths.

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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Better than I'd heard--- Wilson, Murphy, and Jannsen get to shine and dazzle us in the movie's second half

7/10
Author: bopdog from Great Pacific Northwest
16 November 2002

A lot better than I expected! I'd read dreadful reviews, and while I clearly see the bases of the critics' points (I try to only read good critics, critics with useful insights), I must confess I wound up liking the movie.

The first 45 minutes or so was pretty lame--- slow, awkward, annoying. But the it picked up steam, and allowed Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson (my two favorite actors, for real) to be their charming and weird selves. And that Famke Jannsen--- Wow! Those Dutch folks grow some hot babes! At least, I think she was Dutch, once??? Whatever--- she's VERY sexy, charming, intelligent, and graceful. All 3 of these folks were largely very watchable.

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20 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining, But Murphy's Act Getting Old

7/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
11 October 2006

This is a re-make of sorts, not from a movie but from a television series that made history when Bill Cosby became the first black actor to star (or co-star) in a regular TV show. He and Robert Culp played in the show of the same name.

Here, Eddie Murphy plays Cosby's role and Owen Wilson takes over Culp's character. As funny as Murphy has been over his film career, I, for one, have gotten tired of his loud and abrasive characters. It's getting tiresome. Even in the animated hit, "Shrek," Murphy was loud, too talkative and obnoxious. He can't seem to get away from that kind of character. Wilson was more likable in this film and Famke Janssen was interesting.

There are a few wild action scenes in here and this film is played strictly for two things: comedy and action. Another thing: it should have been rated "R," not PG-13. Overall, the story is lame but it is entertaining so, for that, it's worth a rental.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Why call it "I Spy"?

3/10
Author: rrandcoyote from Some where in Time and Space
9 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Obviously the creators of this film did not care for the original show. If they had, they wouldn't have gone so far out of their way to alter it beyond recognition.

Kelly and Scotty were suave, urbane, competent. Neither one of them was James Bond. They never stopped into the spy center to pick up their gadgets.

Kelly did NOT have a posse, a bevy of bi-atches or a private airplane with his name splattered on the side, and he did not refer to himself in the third person. AND, he was a WHITE tennis player, not a black exhibition boxer. (I guess white men can't jump, so they made the black guy the athlete.) Robert Culp was incredibly sexy but did not refer to himself as "Agent Double Oh Nine and a Half". I mean, ewe! But, these are all elements of this film, which for some reason bares the name of the series and heists the character names.

I don't think I would have hated this movie so much if it weren't pretending to have anything to do with the classic series. If it were a stand alone flick about a couple of spy guys, then, so what. But, as it is, it's basically an affront to the original "I Spy". Was their only research a poster or something? Because, the original show is available on DVD, so it's not as if it's gone from the planet.

It brings to mind the horrific "update" of the "Wild, Wild West", a Razzie Award fav.

I don't have any problem with black people updating these characters and stepping into the roles. But, do they have to do it so badly? Kelly and Scotty were never goofy, or grossly incompetent. (Ok, so they walked into a couple of fists along the way. It was subtle comedy, not this over-blown mess.) This Kelly and "Alex" are hopelessly off the mark.

Updates can work, (Scooby-Doo, Addams Family, Bradey Bunch) but there has to be SOME respect for the source material, even if it's parody. How can you parody something you've never bothered to see.

And gawd, this movie makes me love Culp and Cosby even more than I already do!

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

SPOILER ALERT!!! Hold onto your hats, plug your ears, and prepare to sing, "I can't hear you. La, la, la, la ,la, la!.

2/10
Author: asashanx from Rochester, NY
18 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Eddie Murphy making a turkey is understandable. I've seen him do it a number of times to know that he isn't Box Office Gold--at least not like he was back in the late '80s and early '90s, but come on, man! What were you thinking messing up one of the COZ's classic shows? Now I know from "RAW" that you could give a rat's pa-toot what Bill Cosby says or thinks about what you do, but dude! How could you defile his disrespect his legacy by starring in a feature-length remake of this piece of trash, and with Owen Wilson of all people? Owen Wilson? That makes that stoner Dell Dude look like Johnny Depp.

And what was with the over-played double-crosses? Could we have at least one spy movie without a seductive harridan faking her death only to emerge from the shadows and gratuitously tie up her ex-partner and kick himin the groin? How about letting the bad guy get away once in awhile?

The plot was hard enough to believe as it was. I mean, come on, like the chick who played Jean Grey would have anything to do with Owen Wilson--even on a femme fatale level. Give me a break.

Speaking of Famke, Famke, Famke, what the hell were you thinking? This is the cheesiest project you could have ever undertaken. You in "Taxi," another certified gobble-fest by the way, I can see, but this? Ugh! I hope you took 50 showers, and brushed your teeth 75 times after shooting wrapped.

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