Five Great Spy Spoof Movies
Ever since the success of the James Bond series in the sixties, movies have been produced that spoofed the entire spy genre. Having the right mix of action, adventure and humor is the key to a good spy spoof movie regardless of the weak plot that so many of these movies seem to have. Here is a list of my top five Spy Spoof Movies.
James Belushi is prototypical CIA super spy Nick Pirandello on a top secret mission. The mission? Bring a glass of water to Alien visitors in exchange for a secret formula to help clean the Earth before the Russians can get to them first and acquire the Big Gun. There is only one problem. The Aliens are expecting Nick’s partner to deliver the glass of water and he was just bumped off. No biggie! Nick finds a look-a-like replacement in suburbanite wimp Bob Wilson played by John Ritter. Together they learn from each other another side of them they never knew existed. This movie works because it does not rely on reference gags to any other spy movies nor do the characters pretend to be funny. Watching how calm and collected the over-confident Nick Pirandello is compared to the ever-paranoid Bob Wilson makes this movie fun to watch. The plot is silly, but not to the extent where it is stupid. Ok, maybe it is stupid, but in a funny sort of way. Real Men is just your average super spy and average Joe out to save the fate of the world. After all, saving the world is what real men do.
Best Line: “They’re trying to kill me. They know I can’t afford a loss like that.” – Nick Pirandello
Spies Like Us
With Ghostbusters being Dan Akroyd’s best work, Spies Like Us would certainly follow right behind it on the list. It seams Akroyd is at his best when teamed with another comedic actor. And with Chevy Chase playing his usual bumbling and confused character, it creates a perfect sidekick for Akroyd’s nerdy and intellectual personality. After they both stumble through the Spy Aptitude Test, they are recruited for a top secret mission. What they don’t know is that they are the decoys for the real spies assigned to the case. Austin Millbarge (Dan Akroyd) and Emmett Fitz-Hume (Chevy Chase) get tangled up in hilarious situations and eventually meet up with the real spies. With their assistance, World War III is averted. Akroyd and Chase work off of each other brilliantly to make Spies Like Us a classic comedy from two of the top comedy actors of the 80s.
Russian Interrogator: “Every minute you don’t tell us why you are here, I cut off a finger.”
Emmett Fitz-Hume: “Mine or yours?”
The Man Called Flintstone
Flintstone. Fred Flintstone. Ok, so we are talking about Fred Flintstone here. But this is not your average stone-age family. This movie starts out brilliantly with a Bond-like opening scene and a great title song. Fred is recruited to substitute for real spy Rock Slag when Slag becomes injured and unable to continue his mission. Fred seems like the perfect replacement because he looks like Slag. He thwarts henchmen and foils the Green Goose all while keeping his mission a secret from Wilma. The movie drags a bit when the Flintstone and Rubble family are featured, but there is enough action and adventure to keep the movie interesting. In the end, just when all looks hopeless for our stone-aged hero, Flintstone devises a plot that outsmarts and outmaneuvers the Green Goose once and for all. It’s Fred at his cartoon best and a spy spoof that really rocks. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
Best Line: “Is that a real, genuine imitation diamond necklace?” – Fred Flintstone, aka Rock Slag.
The Nude Bomb
The original Get Smart movie. While I agree that Steve Carell was a great choice to play the bumbling Maxwell Smart, Secret Agent 86 of Control, the Nude Bomb had one thing that the 2008 movie did not: Don Adams! Nothing will compare to the brilliance of the TV series, and this movie still didn’t come close, but with Don Adams in the role he was born to play, The Nude Bomb was enjoyable to watch. Recruited by a new organization, PITS, Smart must stop a madman bent on destroying all fabrics on earth to monopolize the clothing industry with his own fashion brand. Many of the action scenes are flawlessly and hilariously delivered by Adams, such as the chase scene with his Desk mobile and the Agent 22 rescue scene as Nino Salvatori Sebastiani’s lair is being destroyed. Let’s also not forget the comic genius of Bill Dana who helped write the script and delivered a truly Get Smart-like scene playing Jonathan Levinson Seigle. While this movie may have disappointed many loyal Get Smart fans, it still displays the incomparable Don Adams as Maxwell Smart, Secret Agent 86 of Control.
Best Line: “Just our luck, we gotta run into a poisonous Achtung.” – Maxwell Smart
The Man Who Knew Too Little
Wallace Ritchie, played by Bill Murray, is just your average Blockbuster Video clerk who gets himself tangled up in international espionage while visiting his brother in Europe. Wallace thinks he is just playing a part in a reality TV show. But the bullets are real and so is Boris “The Butcher” Blavasky, who is sent to kill him. Murray plays the ultimate unwitting character who everyone believes is an American Super Spy sent to foil the bad guys’ plans to assassinate a European diplomat. Murray is at his comedic best as he continues to thwart all attempts at stopping him on his mission. This movie has a good plot with good characters and keeps you interested through to the very end. While it relies heavily on Murray’s aloof style of acting, he plays the part perfectly with each new member of the assignment. If I had known any better, I would have thought they planned on that! The Man Who Knew Too Little is just too much.
Best Line: “You said kill Spenser, kill girl and get letters. You said nothing about American Super Man.” – Boris “The Butcher” Blavasky