Thursday, February 13, 2020

Spy Intervention

Casual fans might not remember when James Bond got married, because it happened during the brief but glorious Lazenby era. Needless to say, it didn’t last. Maybe it will work out better for Corey Gage, but probably not. His relatively new marriage will get particularly rocky when his old agency tries to pull him back into cloak and dagger work—for his own good. The rusty super-agent tries to simultaneously save the world and his marriage in Drew Mylrea’s Spy Intervention, which opens somewhere tomorrow.

Intervention opens with a jokey faux anthropological prologue, in which natural history dioramas illustrates Sinbad-esque difference-of-the-sexes gags, like something out of early 1960s rom-coms. Like most of the jokes here, these bits really don’t land. At least we get a little forward momentum when Gage meet-cutes Pam Grayson during a mission that goes down sideways. She is the reason why.

Suddenly, Gage is willing to chuck away all the globetrotting and settle down with the mall-store makeup sales associate, even though that leaves his final mission unfinished. Of course, Smuts, his best friend at the agency (think more like U.N.C.L.E. or CONTROL from Get Smart rather than the workaday CIA) insists he return temporarily, to complete the job. Naturally, he will be partnered with a bombshell. It’s to save the world, but they also argue it will force him to remember what he’s really good at.

The humor of Intervention is always quite broad and mostly rather dumb. However, Mylrea and screenwriters Mark Famiglietti and Lane Garrison suddenly start scoring laughs with the manic farce of Grayson’s climatic dinner party. It’s probably not worth sticking around for, but there is some kind of payoff at the end of the tunnel.

For what it’s worth, Drew Van Acker is certainly willing to look ridiculous playing Gage—perhaps too willing. Poppy Delevingne (sister of Carla) convincingly glams down and suburbanizes up as Grayson, but nobody could sell the character’s utter lack of intuition. Blake Anderson’s charmless Smuts quickly grows tiresome, but Natasha Bassett actually manages to scratch a few laughs as Alexandria, Gage’s femme fatale comrade.

Seen better, seen worse, every week in fact. Honestly, this is a completely forgettable film, so let’s do so. Not recommended, Spy Intervention opens tomorrow (2/14) in limited release.