Eye For Film >> Movies >> Spy Intervention (2020) Film Review
Reviewed by: Jane Fae
What? What did I just watch? I am now in need of an intervention, which is sort of ironic, given that that is topic of our latest review fare: Spy Intervention.
The premise is not entirely bad. Agent Corey Gage (Drew Van Acker) is a super spy, running Bond-style missions across the globe under the tutelage of dubious sociopath Smuts (Blake Anderson). Then he meets and falls in love with Pam (Poppy Delevingne). So he renounces the service, and courtesy of a little light mindwiping, settles down to a life of suburbia and track lighting while pursuing a career as a cardboard box salesman.
But then comes the intervention. Baddy Doyle Egan (Max Silvestri) is back and looking to obtain a weapon. OK. No-one quite knows what it is. It might be a laser. Or a nuke. Or…whatever. But it’s bad. And a lot of people could get killed.
So now Corey is re-installed: un-mind-wiped and we are into marital comedy territory, because while Corey is out spying, Pam decides he is having an affair, and sets out to expose him. Any similarities between this and True Lies, which starts off down a similar track, are purely coincidental.
What follows is a mess: a mishmash of different styles, tropes and plots that don’t really hang together all that well. It’s not exactly a spy movie. Nor is it quite the pure marital comedy that it feels, a lot of the time, like it's trying to be.
But look: it’s fun, it’s 'goofy' and tediously down on 'ordinary people'. And that might be fair enough point to make in some arthouse, Swedish drama:. Here, though, it grates: comes across as patronisingly superior, with far too many of the hoped-for laughs coming from its relentless punching downward.
Somewhere back of this is an even dodgier theme, situating Corey and Pam’s relationship inside a pop psychology framework about how people are unhappy because they were built for the cave people lifestyle…and they’re not living it any more.
Like what? Every few minutes it is cut to footage of our now warring couple dressed in furs and wandering round a very obviously cardboard cave set.
Underpinning all this is a drum-heavy soundtrack, which is… different. It even works occasionally, though for much of the film it is oddly jarring. As, too, is the tendency of various characters to dive into set piece dance numbers at the drop of a hat. Billing it as surreal, or a 'spoof', as some of the film’s fans have done, does not make it so.
There is a kernel of a good idea here. But it is mostly obscured beneath a snowstorm of distraction and multiple conflicting themes. Some competent character playing from Anderson and Delevingne, sadly let down by a confused and meandering script. As for the denouement: we really were expecting that; but it still doesn’t quite hang together.Reviewed on: 18 Jul 2020