Richard joins CP24 anchor Nick Dixon to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Christopher Robin,” the wannabe spy comedy “The Spy Who Dumped Me” and two documentaries, “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” and “McQueen,” the story of fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the adult adventures of Winnie the Pooh in “Christopher Robin,” the wannabe spy comedy “The Spy Who Dumped Me” and two documentaries, “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” and “McQueen,” the story of fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the adult adventures of Winnie the Pooh in “Christopher Robin,” the wannabe spy comedy “The Spy Who Dumped Me” and “McQueen,” the story of fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
“The Spy Who Dumped Me” is the most multi-hyphenated movie to hit screens this year. It’s a spy-thriller-rom-com-buddy-flick-dark-comedy, that’s a lot of hyphens and genres. Too many, in fact.
Kate McKinnon plays Morgan Freeman (you read that right), BFF to Audrey (Mila Kunis), a cashier still stinging from being dumped by her boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux). They both thought he worked for NPR as a jazz and political podcaster. Turns out, he’s a secret agent for the CIA. Despite dumping her on her birthday, and by text no less, he reaches out to ask her to deliver a flash drive containing the “back door to the entire internet” to Vienna.
With some coaxing from Morgan—“Do you want to die never having been to Europe or do you want to die on a European trip?”—Audrey agrees and the best friends head for Europe. On their tails are squabbling MI6 spies Sebastian (Sam Heughan) and Duffer (Hasan Minhaj) the “bad people” who have been tracking Drew. “Some bad people are after me and now they are after you,” says Drew.
It seems Audrey‘s video game playing experience has trained her for life in the field. On the mission the two newbie spies Jason Bourne their way through Europe, stamping their stolen passports in Prague, Paris, Berlin while fending off ice cold Eastern European assassin Nadedja (Ivanna Sakhno). Several car chases, one death by fondue and hundreds of bullets later they uncover the truth of their assignment.
“The Spy Who Dumped Me” gets lost amid all its duelling genres. It’s not dark enough to be a dark comedy, not funny enough to be a full on comedy, not romantic enough to be a rom com and certainly not thrilling enough to give 007 a run for this money. Instead it’s a Frankensteined version of all the genres sewn together sitcom style.
McKinnon gives it her all as the well-intentioned BFF who starts as much trouble as she stops, spicing up all her scenes with the deadpan Kunis. McKinnon‘s characters are comedic things a beauty, human but other worldly, strange but relatable, but here it feels as if the big screen amplifies her already larger-than-life character. It’s as if she is acting in a different movie than Kunis and the others. She’s the movie’s MVP but her take on Morgan distracts rather than adds. As Drew tells her when they first meet, “Morgan, has anyone ever told you told you you’re a bit much?”
Despite McKinnon’s best efforts “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” at almost two hours, is overlong and overstuffed.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the adult adventures of Winnie the Pooh in “Christopher Robin,” the wannabe spy comedy “The Spy Who Dumped Me” and two documentaries, “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” and “McQueen,” the story of fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
“Outlander” star Sam Heughan on fan reaction to him and the show: “It’s been so positive and supportive. They are very vocal and I’m sure if we mess this up they’ll be the first to let us know. I love the support. There were people outside this morning when we were doing some taping and it was freezing cold but they were there, waving flags and supporting us. It is fantastic. We make it for them and for new fans as well. I’m pleased that we can give them what they want but also keep surprising them as well.
“We’ve been filming in Scotland, so we’re kind of in our own bubble. The show has only just aired in the UK so there is no recognition there, which is fantastic because we can concentrate on the job. We flew to Comic Con this past year and the reaction was incredible. We did a big panel and I’ve been in Los Angeles recently and people do recognize you. On the whole it is very genuine, very friendly. They just sort of siddle up next to you and whisper, ‘I really enjoy the show. I’m a big fan,’ and they’ll leave you to do your thing. But that sort of thing is very new to me.”
Sam Heughan has become something of a heartthrob playing a fiery 18th-century Scottish warrior married to a Second World War combat nurse who mysteriously transported back in time in the sci fi romance Outlander.
The show, which returns to Showcase for its midseason premiere on Sunday, April 5, has developed a rabid fan base with as many as five million Americans tuning in to catch Heughan and his kilt each week. The British Film Institute even reports that the show’s popularity has inspired a tourism boom in Scotland.
On Heughan’s recent trip to Toronto fans lined up in the cold to catch a glimpse of the handsome 6′ 2½” actor. “They were there,” he says, “waving flags and supporting us. It is fantastic.”
He says “that sort of thing is very new to me,” although a recent trip to Comic Con was met with much excitement and on a stop over in Los Angeles he was recognized for his work on the show.
“On the whole it is very genuine,” he says, “very friendly. They just sort of sidle up next to you and whisper, ‘I really enjoy the show. I’m a big fan,’ and they’ll leave you to do your thing.”
Ironically the one place he isn’t as well known is his home country, which also happens to be where they shoot the series.
“We’ve been filming in Scotland, so we’re kind of in our own bubble. The show has only just aired in the UK so there is no recognition there, which is fantastic because we can concentrate on the job.”
Heughan trained at the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama but says before signing on to do Outlander he was a “jobbing actor. I had done a lot of theatre and period drama in the UK.” He cites one strange acting gig in particular, playing the lead role in a touring production of Batman Live, as a real confidence builder.
“A terrific job,” he says. “So different than anything I had done before—doing acrobatics, flying across stadiums over thousands of people. It did give me a lot of confidence to stand in front of twenty or thirty thousand people and have to fight thirty henchmen every night.”
“I’ll always remember the first entrance as Batman, flying two hundred feet across the auditorium with people below and you’re looking down at them thinking, ‘This is something else.’ They don’t teach that in acting school.”