Spies Like Us (1985)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Classic '80s comedy

So-so film for all parties involved

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Spies Like Us

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  December 6, 1985

MPAA Rating:  PG


Ok…let’s go for this appendix!

When plan a covert mission to test the United States’ defense practices, the conspirators need to ensure that they can reach their target within the Soviet Union’s borders.  Not willing to risk good agents, Emmett Fitz-Hume (Chevy Chase) and Austin Millbarge (Dan Aykroyd) are rushed through training with an assignment to secretly act as decoys for the real agents.  Without this knowledge, Emmett and Austin might end up screwing up the plans that revolve around their weaknesses…unintentionally.

Directed by John Landis, Spies Like Us is an ’80s buddy comedy.  The movie received so-so reviews but performed strongly at the box office.  The movie features a title song sung by Paul McCartney.


Mind if I play through?

Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd were kings of ’80s.  Like other big buddies movies like The Great Outdoors and Three Amigos, big comedies were a norm…and Spies Like Us is  a rather dull, average entry.

I was never a big fan of Spies Like Us, and though it has its moments, I always felt it was a rather mundane comedy.  Allegedly, the movie had more of a Doctor Strangelove ending which might have made it a bit edgier.  The original plan was for the world to be destroyed due to nuclear war…I almost like that better though I could see how it wouldn’t have gone over very well.

Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase are at their best even if the script isn’t.  Like a lot of comedies from this period, it wasn’t the original planned casting.  Both John Belushi and Joe Piscap     were allegedly planned for Chase’s role.  Donna Dixon plays Chase’s love interest in the film but is actually the wife of Dan Aykroyd.  The movie features cameos by Frank Oz, Terry Gilliam, Ray Harryhausen, Joel Coen, Sam Raimi, and B.B. King.  The movie was based on Bob Hope and Bing Crosby travel/adventure comedy movies, and Bob Hope makes his final film appearance in a weird out of place cameo.


Boy, it’s chilly up here

I will give that Spies Like Us has some nice settings.  Both the desert and mountain locations are rather scenic though the film itself is pretty standard in sets and style.  You expect and ’80s comedy visually and you get an ‘80s comedy visually.

Spies Like Us is a pretty average comedy.  For those alive in the ‘80s and accustom to the pacing, the lack of laugh-a-minute script is a kind of fun throwback, but it doesn’t make it good.  Stick with Ghostbuster, Vacation, and other ‘80s comedies if you are looking for a good laugh…Spies Like Us provides some chuckles, but you can do better.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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