I Spy


Directed by: Betty Thomas
Written by:Marianne Wibberley, Cormac Wibberley, Jay Scherick, David Ronn
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Owen Wilson, Famke Janssen, Malcolm McDowell, Gary Cole
Released: January 23, 2003
Grade: C

The Courier-Mail, Monday, January 27, 2003, page 2.  “Police last night defended their response to a bomb hoax at a Brisbane shopping centre.  Members of the police service told staff and shoppers at Stafford City, on Brisbane’s northside, there was a bomb.  The two-hour alert turned out to be a hoax.  ‘We have to treat all matters seriously until our investigations prove them to be otherwise,’ said a spokeswoman.”

I saw scheduled to see the 12:20pm session of I Spy last Sunday.  To my “surprise”, the cinema and shopping complex had been closed due to a bomb scare.  The police have been unable to identify the perpetrator of this hoax but I fear I may be brought in for questioning in the near future.  You see, I am one of the few people with a motive strong enough to resort to such a gutless tactic.  I was off to see I Spy.

For this screenplay, which I believe was written on three pieces of one-ply toilet paper, Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson are the outspoken boxer, Kelly Robinson, and classy secret agent, Alexander Scott.  Scott has been assigned the mission of tracking down and returning to the United States, a top secret invisible plane which has fallen into the wrong hands.  Gundars (McDowell) is a wealthy Belgian, who also happens to be a huge boxing fan, who is rumoured to be holding a large party as a cover to invite bids on the plane.  Scott needs to get into that party and the agency has arranged for Robinson to team up with Scott to save the day.  Yadda, yadda, yadda.

It’s pitiful at the very best.  The whole story is structured around a predefined conclusion and lame jokes.  Logic takes a back-seat to mayhem.  There are too many examples and I’m too tired to go through them all.  Take my word for it - it’s garbage.  Eddie Murphy’s only made two good movies in the last ten years - Bowfinger and Shrek.  If I was a casting agent, I’d be making sure I watched Showtime, Pluto Nash, Dr. Dolittle, The Nutty Professor, Life, Holy Man, Metro, Vampire In Brooklyn... before making any decision to offer him employment.

I spy with my little eye, an absolute piece of crap.