I-Spy is a hilarious take on spy movies, quite different in tone and humour from the Austin Powers films.

The surface plot involves the pairing of Alex Scott (Owen Wilson), a not-so-competent spy for the U.S. government, and professional boxer Kelly Robinson (Eddie Murphy), to retrieve an invisible plane stolen by the villain Gundars (Malcolm McDowell). Alex is aided by fellow-spy Rachel (Famke Janssen) who he desires but isn't able to muster enough courage to make a move.

Alex's disbelief at his "micro" gadgets is hilarious to watch, as is Kelly's egomaniacal third-person self-references. The one-liners zinging between Robinson and Scott are a delight (and there are a lot of good ones). The scene where Robinson sings Sexual Healing with Alex following his lead over a hidden radio had me cracking up; I hadn't laughed so long in a movie for a while. The phone conversation between Robinson and George W Bush is also hilarious.

Murphy and Wilson are really the only redeeming features of this film. The chemistry between them is as good as the one between Wilson and Jackie Chan in Shanghai Noon. I-Spy isn't worth watching for its action scenes or its plot, but for the dialogue spewing from the mouth of its main characters. Worth the matinee fare.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org