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‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ review: Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis consistently entertain

If you’re going to make an old-fashioned buddy movie like this, you ought to do it with these stars.

Mila Kunis, left, and Kate McKinnon in

Mila Kunis, left, and Kate McKinnon in "The Spy Who Dumped Me." Photo Credit: Lionsgate Film / Hopper Stone

‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’

Directed by Susanna Fogel

Starring Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Justin Theroux, Hasan Minhaj

Rated R

Sometimes you know exactly what you’re going to get from a movie ahead of time, the movie delivers precisely those goods and that’s just enough.

Such is the case with “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” a gleefully dopey action-comedy with a nonsense plot and the expected high jinks that nonetheless consistently entertains.

A large percentage of the credit for that goes to Kate McKinnon, who already belongs in the pantheon of all-time “Saturday Night Live” greats and does such relentlessly funny shtick here that the picture might as well have been a stand-up special.

She plays Morgan, the best friend of protagonist Audrey (Mila Kunis), women swept into an international espionage drama after Audrey’s ex-boyfriend Drew Thayer (Justin Theroux), a covert agent, is shot dead by assassins in front of them in their Los Angeles home.

They’re chased across Europe by, well, everyone from a demented gymnast (Ivanna Sakhno) to MI6 as personified by the higher-up Wendy (Gillian Anderson, a droll highlight) and agent Sebastian (Sam Heughan), as well as the CIA’s Duffer (Hasan Minhaj), who can’t stop bragging about his Harvard degree.

As directed by Susanna Fogel (from a script she co-wrote with David Iserson), none of this matters in the least. From a filmmaking standpoint, it’s seriously generic territory, with the exception of the occasional moment of stylish flair such as a centerpiece sequence involving McKinnon and a Cirque du Soleil-like acrobatic troupe.

There is, of course, undeniable significance in the fact that a picture in an excessively male-dominated genre is made by and starring women. Audrey and Morgan are not generic stand-ins for your prototypical main characters in these movies and the actors strike several honest, genuine moments in the ways they develop and expand upon their close friendship.

If you’re going to make an old-fashioned buddy movie like this, you ought to do it with these stars, who are both quality actors and blessed with substantial comic gifts.

When it comes to mindless summer entertainment, which is absolutely a cinematic necessity, you could do a lot worse.

The movie’s best scenes take a complete time out from advancing the generic, MacGuffin-centric plot and simply allow the actors to riff with each other, or for McKinnon to chew scenery on her own, whether scampering through an airport, flirting with Anderson or just being genuinely, lovably weird.

“The Spy Who Dumped Me” might not have the most refined sense of satire or even a lot on its mind, but it has Kunis and, especially, McKinnon doing their thing, and that’s more than enough.

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