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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

The Blind Leading the Blind

I Spy on IMDb
snowmanMerry Christmas

Plot Overview

performance reportAt Christmas time two weeks ago after having completed his Bureau of National Security (BNS) field training and a probationary period, agent Alex Scott (Owen Wilson) was promoted to special agent—like all the rest—and given his first solo mission to some Timbuktu where he was not likely to embarrass the agency. As novelist Steve Berry puts it, “One thing Langley detested was consequences, especially from its special opera[tives]” (81.) He had mixed results in recovering an asset when the Russians also stationed their most inept guards there at the military detention camp in the Tien Shan Mountains of Uzbekistan.

vigilant kidUncle SampencilrejectNow, a little bird has told the BNS that arms dealer Arnold Gundars (Malcolm McDowell) has invisible—but pigeons can see them—WMDs stashed some­where in Budapest, Hungary where he plans to auction them to the highest bidder in a couple of days. The bureau's seasoned spies would be too easily spotted by the bad guy bidders, so they are left with Alex, but he'll need cover. Gundars a prizefight aficionado is throwing a fight party the night before the auction, so the bureau has the president—GWB, phone voiced by Will Ferrell, is a closet fight enthusiast—call in a favor from middle­weight champion boxer Kelly Robinson (Eddie Murphy) who will be there to defend his title. He'll attend the party with his under­cover assistant Alex.

cop writing ticketRobinson was raised by his grandmother, so he didn't have a male role model for how to relate to women. His grand­mother was known to punch him in the face. His first career was grand theft auto, and the women who went for him were bad them­selves, liked black men, or were coerced (“girl tried to press charges.”) When he became a successful boxer, he had access to groupies galore. Being a spy is a feather in his cap, like 007 only in his case 009½ (“That's innuendo.”) He's taken up with his own sexual prowess. He's undefeated in the ring (“I'm 57 and 0, baby”) and wears his number of wins—57—on his bow tie at the party. That's innuendo relating to the Heinz 57 variety of tomatoes in their ketchup and to the multitude of women he's bedded. Not comprehending his true type-limited experience, he's taken to advising Alex on love who is sweet on special agent Rachel Wright (Famke Janssen,) while Alex not putting his limited espionage experience into perspective is advising Robinson on spycraft. Therein lies the humor of the plot.


This action movie does double duty with love action and its thrills with the suspense in love pursuit. One could liken it to, (Prov. 30:18-19) “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.” The writer of that proverb found it difficult to track certain movements, with the moves of a man with a woman comprising those difficulties combined.

jet pilot“The way of an eagle in the air” involves a lot of floating on invisible air currents and unanticipated swoops on unsuspecting prey. Alex and Robinson did some fierce negotiating in the latter's jet along with grabbing the controls and playing chicken with the ground. There were maniac vacillations in Alex's and Rachel's sweet negotiations as well.

“The way of a serpent upon a rock” is represented by slithering off a roof, leading a serpentine chase through the streets, and ducking into the sewers. Like­wise, Alex's pursuit of Rachel is not the quiet stake­out he'd envisioned.

shark“The way of a ship in the midst of the sea” corresponds to two ship­wrecked spies in the water with their re-purposed floatation device (“that's like swim­ming with Jaws.”) Alex serenades his babe with a song about a tidal wave of love. “It's murky”; it keeps us on our toes.

Production Values

” (2002) was directed by Betty Thomas. Its screenplay was written by Marianne Wibberley, Cormac Wibberley, Jay Scherick, and David Ronn, from a story by Marianne Wibberley and Cormac Wibberley, using characters created by Morton Fine & David Friedkin. This is a re-envisioned make­over of an old B&W tele­vision series. It stars Eddie Murphy, Owen Wilson and Famke Janssen. Murphy as usual turns cute banter into an annoying bombast. He and Wilson form a likable duo but with little chemistry between them and a dim wit for their effort. Famke Janssen is a saucy femme fatale. The support cast held up nicely. Malcolm McDowell made a credible villain.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for action violence, some sexual content and language. Good and atmospheric cinema­tog­raphy was done by Oliver Wood. A thrilling and moving musical score was made by Richard Gibbs. The pace moved right along. The scenes in the ring were brief but dramatic. The settings seemed realistic, the costuming could win the day, and the stunt doubles were smoothly edited in and out.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

At least with home viewing I could turn down the volume on the actor with the big mouth, but with a soft side in places. I rather liked the old TV series and was able to tolerate the inane plot here. I'm sure there are better movies to rent, but this one will do in a pinch.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Berry, Steve. The King's Deception. Copyright © 2013 by Steve Berry. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013. Print.