I Spy is a 2002 comedy film produced & directed by Betty Thomas (Doctor Dolittle, Private Parts, The Brady Bunch Movie, & Only You). It’s based on the 1960s television show of the same name. It was written by Marianne Wibberley (Bad Boys II, National Treasure, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, & The 6th Day), Cormac Wibberley (G-Force, The Shaggy Dog, Motel Blue, & L.A.’s Finest), Jay Scherick (Spin City, Norbit, National Security, & Guess Who), & David Ronn (The Smurfs 1/2, Zookeeper, Serving Sara, & Spin City). It was produced by Mario Kassar (Rambo franchise, Total Recall, Terminator 2, & Universal Soldier). Warren Carr (Happy Gilmore, Romeo Must Die, The Terror, & Bad Company), & David R. Ginsburg (Citizen X, Gia, Full Eclipse, & Just One Time). The budget was $70 million & it grossed an estimated $50 million at the box office worldwide.
At the Bureau of National Security headquarters, Special Agent Alex Scott (played by: Owen Wilson from Starsky & Hutch, Anaconda, Wedding Crashers, & Meet the Parents/Fockers) is accosted by his rival Carlos (played by: Gary Cole from The Town That Dreaded Sundown, Blockers, A Simple Plan, & American Gothic) before being briefed on his next mission. Scott is assigned to recover a stolen fighter, the “Switchblade,” plane sold to arms dealer Arnold Gundars (played by: Malcolm McDowell from A Clockwork Orange, Halloween 1/2, Class of 1999, & Cat People). Gundars is sponsoring Middleweight world boxing champion Kelly Robinson’s (played by: Eddie Murphy from Beverly Hills Cop franchise, 48 Hours/Another 48 Hours, Trading Places, & Coming to America) next match & using the event to auction the plane. The agency has contacted Robinson & assigned him to be the civilian cover for Scott’s mission. They travel to Budapest, where Scott plans to penetrate Gundars’ compound during a pre-fight party. The two struggle to work together but end up bonding after awhile. Robinson helps Scott with talking to his crush Agent Rachel Wright (played by: Famke Janssen from the X-Men franchise, Taken trilogy, Lord of Illusions, GoldenEye, & House on Haunted Hill). As they dig deeper into the mission, they realize someone from the inside is double crossing them. Who is the traitor? Is it one of them????
Eddie Murphy had a rough streak at the box office with three of his films bombing right in a row & I Spy was one of them. I am surprised it didn’t do better at the time. The script had a great balance of action & comedy. It’s a fun buddy film & a hilarious take on the spy sub-genre. Eddie Murphy & Owen Wilson actually have amazing chemistry here. Both of them feed off each other in this & it makes them better on their performances. Famke Janssen is a bad ass in this plus she’s beautiful & some top notch eye candy. Malcolm McDowell is a great villain & he elevates the overall the production with his presence. I’ve never seen Gary Cole like this before, he’s damn near a chameleon for this role. He steals the show as the super spy & ultimate hero with a huge ego. The cast was really good in I-Spy, it’s definitely better than you would expect. It’s a shame that it didn’t do good in theaters but hopefully it finds a new life on blu ray thanks to the great folks at Mill Creek Entertainment. This under-rated comedy deserves more attention, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Mill Creek! Sony previously released this under their BD-R “Choice Collection” line in 2017. GREAT NEWS, this one is actually pro pressed. This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer looks way better than expected for a catalog title. The international locations are nice & the cinematography is on point here. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track sounds great. The dialogue is crystal clear, the music has a nice boost to it, & all the action is elevated. It has English SDH subtitles. There’s no extras on the disc. This new Mill Creek release is priced much better than the original Choice Collection BD-R disc. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!