Critic Reviews



Based on 9 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Chicago Tribune
One imagines that fans of Chase and Aykroyd will be mildly pleased with the results. As political humor, though, Spies is an uneasy blend of seriousness and farce--a picture whose antiwar theme seems designed to let its makers cash their paychecks and, at the same time, feel good about themselves. [06 Dec 1985, p.A]
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Good Landis work looks like a comically heightened reality, and it scores with sharp moments in which the world is ridiculous and being American is possibly just as ridiculous. Spies Like Us, his latest, ranks with his poorest efforts, in which strange people start out in extraordinary situations and the lead characters have a pig-out; pushing for wildness, Landis gets mired in crudity (as in Animal House). [09 Dec 1985]
There are seeds of something funny in the film's beginning and in its premise, but they are soon dissipated by so little sustained wit, and so much scenery.
Spies is not very amusing. Though Chase and Aykroyd provide moments, the overall script thinly takes on eccentric espionage and nuclear madness, with nothing new to add.
Spies Like Us does have a few yuks, or at least yukettes, but there's only a semi-smidgeon of inventiveness in this ponderous farce. [16 Dec 1985, p.84]
Landis' direction is indulgent, to say the least, with big landscapes, big crashes, big hardware, and big gags filling the screen. What he forgets is character development, that all-important factor that must exist for comedy to work well.
Landis never bothers to account for the friendship that springs up spontaneously between these two antipathetic types, but then he never bothers to account for anything in this loose progression of recycled Abbott and Costello riffs and fumbled Strangelovean satire.
Time Out London
Sadly, the script is so patchy that most of the genuine laughs are squeezed into the first half; the rest is a rather tacky and confused extended joke about the nuclear arms race, which is tasteless only because it fails to be funny.
Washington Post
It's the kind of stuff you come up with when you're not trying very hard, and on Spies Like Us, nobody seems to be trying. And that can be very trying indeed. [09 Dec 1985, p.C3]

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