I Spy

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2 1/2

Based on the 60s television show, I SPY follows the trend of re-imagining original productions. Alex Scott (Owen Wilson) works for the fictional spy agency BNS, but the flashier agent Carlos (Gary Cole) seems to get the better assignments and better spy gear. However, when a truly invisible stealth bomber is stolen from the government, Scott gets the assignment. Arms dealer Arnold Gundars (Malcolm McDowell), to cover the sale of the plane, is staging an international boxing match in Budapest. So Scott will have to work with a civilian, undefeated boxer Kelly Robinson (Eddie Murphy). Robinsons larger-then-life ego and flamboyant lifestyle clashes with Scotts low-key undercover approach to spying. With the help of agent Rachel Wright (Famke Janssen), Scott and Robinson infiltrate Gundars palace and discover a common bond. Capturing the humorous interaction between the agents and mixing dangerous situations with an element of fun, I SPY will appeal to those with fewer memories of the TV series.

Those that remember the series or catch it in syndication will notice a role reversal. In the series, Bill Cosby was one of the first black actors to have a co-starring role on TV. He played the ivy-league educated, multi-lingual agent Alexander Scott. Robert Culp played professional tennis champ Kelly Robinson. In the new version, the educated spy is played by Owen Wilson, while Eddie Murphy plays the ego-centric, extroverted sports champ. While the self-focused character fits Murphys film history, Cosby gave black audiences a better self-image. In this production, Scott also is somewhat inept in love but hopes to have a sexual encounter with the attractive Rachel, based on a rumor from another agent. He equates the idea of a stake-out with that possibility. Robinson, using spy equipment like a modern Cryano de Bergerac, coaches Scott through an attempted seduction. Rachel begins to undress but their interlude is interrupted. Numerous explosions, shoot-outs, fights and chases fill the screen to keep the action going. A common fight strategy includes kicks to the crotch. Along with the humorous banter between agents, the dialogue features frequent crude slang and obscenities another thing different from the TV series. If you want I SPY, check out cable TV nostalgia channels rather than the theater.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (70) times Mild 15, moderate 55

Obscene Language: Many (45) times S-word 41, other 4

Profanity: Several (7) times Regular 3 (GD2, G); exclamatory 4 (OMG, OG)

Violence: Many times Moderate, few times severe (man caught in avalanche, injured leg pulled, shootings, boxing punches, man shoved into car, knife threat, hits, kicks to head, slap, kicks to crotch, car wrecks, explosions, men thrown by explosion, electroshock, graphic stab in leg)

Sex: None

Nudity: Few times (nude statues); Near Nudity Several times (woman in underwear, skimpy costumes on showgirls few times, men in towels)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (references to stakeout implies sex, woman propositions man, woman threatens to cut mans crotch, man surrounded by women, spy code name innuendo about organ size, man sings sexual lyrics to woman, woman begins to undress, comment about liking it rough)

Drugs: Few times wine/ alcohol, cigars

Other: Man gets arm tattoo, anatomical word for male organ used several times, friendship emphasized

Running Time: 102 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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