FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: Last night I saw “Spy Hard,” which stars Leslie Nielson (Airplane, The Naked Gun: From the Files of the Police Squad!), Nicollette Sheridan (Desperate Housewives [TV series], Knots Landing [TV series]), Charles Durning (The Sting, O Brother Where Art Thou?), Marcia Gay Harden (Miller’s Crossing, The Mist), John Ales (The Nutty Professor , Dragon Wars: D-Day), Barry Bostick (The Rocky Picture Horror Show, Spin City [TV series]), Andy Griffith (The Andy Griffith Show [TV series], Matlock [TV series]), Elya Baskin (Spider-Man 2, The Name of the Rose), and Mason Gamble (Rushmore, Gattaca). It is directed by Rick Friedberg (Olsen Twins Mother’s Day Special [TV movie], CityKids [TV series]), who also co-wrote it with Jason Friedberg (Scary Movie, Disaster Movie), Aaron Seltzer (Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans), and Dan Chudnow (Pray TV, Off the Wall). Agent WD-40 (Nielson) is called back into action when his foe, General Rancor (Griffith), resurfaces from his mistaken downfall. Rancor threatens to kill a woman of WD-40’s bureau if he doesn’t bring him what he wants, so it is up to the agent to take down Rancor and save the world.
Scrolling around Netflix a few days ago, I stumbled upon a peculiar feature that boasted an actor I saw on “Airplane”: Leslie Nielson. Having a title like “Spy Hard” was enough to pique my interest, and after watching ten minutes of the film I knew I had to reserve it for Friday night. Basically a parody of any James Bond movie, this flick has enough terrible yet entertaining comedy to make one laugh and roll their eyes at the same time. It’s Nielson doing his same routine, except now he is a spy, and while a good bit of jokes mimic the style of ones he’s done before, there is room in this release for me to take pleasure in. I laughed often, even if the jokes weren’t good, because they were carried out in a hilarious fashion. Some of the actors knew how to throw in something funny, giving the writers some leeway to formulate whatever crap they wanted to, and boy were there a ton of random situations. Aside from some jokes that get good laughs, the story itself is completely hollow and misguided. We are given a conflict where Nielson’s character has to take a computer chip to a villain, played surprisingly by Andy Griffith, or someone in his bureau will get killed. There’s little reason for him to want to save her, and it’s barely touched on in the plot, as we mainly cut to nonsensical scenes that have little to do with the course we are on. Granted, I did laugh, but I was left empty when the puns and physical comedy were over. Peeling away the humor, there’s little to work with, and I constantly asked myself “what is going on anymore?” Although Nielson did a great job in his role and Griffith was fun just because of his reputation in his old show, most of the actors are forgettable, with really no performances that are noteworthy. Sure, it’s a slapstick comedy, but even in “Airplane” there are many memorable characters. This is most likely do to the willingness to incorporate any development or reason by the writers. There are many gaps in the plot, and most of the time you just have to let it slide. To be honest, I did for almost the entire runtime. When you are given a comedy like this, there’s nothing you can do but take it. What makes it acceptable, however, is if it gets a laugh out of you. Since I laughed and had a ton of fun watching this, I won’t scorn it as much as critics did. There’s something about it that tempts me to watch it again. It definitely has that guilty pleasure vibe to it, and another plus is the incredible intro song by Weird Al Yankovich. Would I recommend this to others, however? No, unless you enjoyed “Airplane” and are looking for more humor like it. “Spy Hard” may have given me great laughs, but it’s story was not present most of the time, causing it a severe downfall. FINAL SCORE: 69%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: