Movie Reviews: I Spy

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     Columbia (1 hr. 36 min.)
     Two of America’s top spies are called in recover a sophisticated stealth fighter.
     Eddie Murphy, Owen Wilson, Famke Janssen, Malcolm McDowell
Bottom Line:


I’ve been reminded once again as I watched "I Spy," that Hollywood writers don’t have an original idea in their heads. For moviegoers under the age of 40, you probably don’t care what the "I Spy" filmmakers put up on the screen, and that a recycled television show is OK. It’s not.

For us babyboomers, we remember "I Spy" as a break through television show during the turbulent, Civil Rights laden ‘60s that took risk. The show paired a young Bill Cosby and Robert Culp as a wise crackin’ salt and pepper spy guys out to fight evil governments. That was something unheard of in 1965. Now it seems since "48 Hours," an ethnic paring is a cliché.

"I Spy" bares very little resemblance to the original, with the exception of the character’s names, which for some reason are switched. Eddie Murphy plays the middleweight boxing champion Kelly Robinson who is asked by President George W. Bush to assist special agent Alex Scott (Owen Wilson) to recover a stolen stealth fighter called the Switchblade. Scott and Robinson’s clashing personalities is suppose to drive the movie. It doesn’t. Fact is, it’s just another in a long series of tired clichés.

On the television show, their personalities complemented each one another, and their rapid-fire quips, targeted at others was the driving force.

Admittedly, the new "I Spy" did forced a few chuckles out of me, but it was during the scenes where a Latin spy named Carlos, an obvious parody of James Bond, made an appearance. Oh, there is a terrific Marvin Gaye gag, which I don’t want to give away in case you haven’t heard.

However, in the final analysis, it might have been better just to string together several episodes of the old series and call it good.




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