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5.5/10 Two summers ago we got Charlize Theron in “Mad Max: Fury Road”, my favorite film of 2015 and one of the top five best as well. Flash forward two years to this summer and we have “The Fate of the Furious” (kill me) and now this. Poor Charlize. In all fairness, this film being average isn’t the fault of Ms. Theron. In fact, she does a solid job acting, pulling off accents and kicking ass. Overall the cast is strong and since this is an action movie, the action is (mostly) well done. The production design and costume design of recreating its respective time period is also top notch. The stunt work and fight choreography looks great and although it is trying to be like “John Wick”, I like that there is plenty of hand to hand combat to differentiate it from most of the gun play that the “John Wick” films have. The story is pretty run of the mill spy filled with double agents and double crossings and the usual stuff we have come to expect. In the first half of the film they throw around so many foreign names that it is hard to keep track of who is who or who they are talking about. Not until closer to the end of the movie do we start to get a better grasp on what is going on. I know spy characters are hard to develop because they take on false identities and have to lie a lot to stay alive but they really didn’t develop any of the characters in this film so I found myself not caring what happened to them if they lived or died. The movie also flashes back and forth between Charlize Theron’s debriefing/interrogation and the story she is telling. The problem with that is that I know she isn’t going to die during any of the story or action that takes place because she is telling the story at a future time. This eliminates any real sense of danger for her character, which isn’t a good thing. A couple shots in the fight scenes were sped up using editing to make it look like she was moving faster than she actually was, which is kind of cheating in a way. There were also two separate scenes where henchmen should have clearly been dead but either kept fighting or popped back up at the last second, which was totally ridiculous. There is a sex scene in the film that as a straight man, I enjoyed visually but it served absolutely no purpose at all for the movie. It was just for sex appeal and getting men into the theater seats. Sex just for the sake of sex in film is lazy and unnecessary since it doesn’t further the story or develop the characters. Lastly, the soundtrack had the subtlety of Dwayne Johnson on a jack hammer. They basically just slapped every popular song from the time period onto the soundtrack and doubled the volume. They couldn’t utilize the score better or just allow no music to play. They had to force loud cliché music into almost every second of the movie. Also, you can’t use David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” in a movie that has Til Schweiger in it and NOT have us immediately think of “Inglourious Basterds.” The movie moves along at a solid pace, the performers have fun and I was definitely entertained but to go back to “Mad Max: Fury Road” and quote Immortan Joe, this movie was simply…”MEDIOCRE!”

#FridgeOfSpies / #AMillionWaysToSpyInTheWestBerlin / #BlondeOnBlonde / #Spyfall / #PuttingTheColdInColdWar / #JohnChick

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