(director: Dexter Fletcher; screenwriters: screenplay & story by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers; cinematographer: Salvatore Totino; editors: Chris Lebenzon, Jim May, Josh Schaeffer; music: Lorne Balfe; cast: Chris Evans (Cole), Ana de Armas (Sadie), Adrien Brody (Leveque), Mike Moh (Wagner), Tate Donavan (Dad), Amy Sedaris (Mom), Lizze Broadway (Matte Turner), Tim Blake Nelson (Borislov); Runtime: 116; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Chris Evans, Jules Daly, Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese; Apple TV+; 2023)
“An atrocious film.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An over-cooked romantic ‘save the world’ spy action comedy by the actor-turned-director, the UK filmmaker Dexter Fletcher (“Rocketman”/”The Offer”). The story and screenplay is by Paul Wernick, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, while Rhett Reese just handles the screenplay. It’s an atrocious film, one that boggles the mind how such utter crap gets the studio green light.
The clean-cut Cole (Chris Evans) is an organic farmer in Washington, D.C., who was before that a history academic. He’s now working at his family’s farmer market stall, where he meets and falls for Sadie (Ana de Armas). After sleeping with her on their second encounter, he is pissed when she disappears. But he tracks her to London and discovers that she’s a spy for the C.I.A., with the code name Taxman. He gets caught up in her spy business and helps in her mission.
Adrian Brody pops up playing a French arms dealer villain. Several celebrities (which I won’t name) show up in cameos. The pic travels to the Khyber Pass, the bazaars of Pakistan and to the Arabian Sea for further action locations.
Nothing works: the shoddy story is lifeless, the plot is slight, the dialogue is trite, the sight-gags are hard to see as funny (as a film meant to be funny it turns out not to be funny), the romance has no sparks, the set action pieces are lame, the visual set pieces look cheap and the acting has little merit (the two stars were both miscast). If there’s something good about this flick, it went by me as if it was ghosted.
REVIEWED ON 4/22/2023 GRADE: D