Classic Intel: Spies Like Us - Online Review

'makes a successful meal from espionage parody where efforts like Spy Hard could only manage a dog's dinner'

Arguably one of the less successful John Landis comedies, Spies Like Us still makes a successful meal from espionage parody where efforts like Spy Hard could only manage a dog's dinner. Like that film, the greatest assets are the leads; where in Spy Hard it was Leslie Nielsen, battling gamely, here its an at-their-peak Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase, the former opting for this in between Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, the latter not far removed from European Vacation and about to alight in Three Amigos.

Landis does the obvious and starts by creating the pair as a miss-match. Millbarge (Aykroyd) is smart but hated by his superior, Fitz-Hume (Chase) is debonair but lazy. You can believe Akyroyd as a brain without effort but Chase as someone women will fall over themselves to sleep with? It's a stretch. He tries his best to sell Fitz-Hume as a Tom Cruise-circa 1986 impersonator, but at times it's a wink too far and Landis may have been better served sticking more tightly to the 'two idiots' recipe.

The script is by and large fun but infinitely better when it finds new absurdity to distract from the one-liners, rather than the elements which hint at some sort of Dr. Strangelove-esque commentary. The 'doctor, doctor,' scene is a highlight, whilst the end gets far too bogged down in both explaining why everything is happening and showing off some spectacularly un-needed special effects.

It is certainly minor Landis, but even that is affable enough to pull out several solid laughs and a couple of endearing characters. Should have left the advanced postulating to other films though.

Spies Like Us was showing on LOVEFiLM Instant.

Look further...

Ross v Ross had a 'Spy Battle'. Fitz-Hume and Millbarge were in it.


  1. Great review! I (Sarah) have actually never seen it but Andrew has and he thought it was funny! We love your blog so we are giving you the Liebster Award! Claim it here!

  2. Any idea where I can find the script for spies like us?

    1. Not something I've ever looked into I'm afraid Gégène.