Spies Like Us (1985) Poster

(1985)

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7/10
Comedians like Us
caspian19782 March 2005
Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd were at the height of their professional careers with the 80's "masterpiece" Spies Like Us. The cast alone makes this movie a triumph the 80's comedy. Although the same cast today would find itself on the video shelf and not the movie theaters, for the mid 80's this was a GIANT of a Hollywood cast. Second to only Doctor Strangelove, what other comedy is funnier when dealing with American / Russian relations during the cold war? Chevy and Aykroyd have terrific chemistry together that has been molded to perfection from their success on Saturday Night Live. The physical comedy in the first half of the movie is as funny as any Marx Brother film of its time. The comical situations that occur in the second half are as funny as any Blake Edwards production. Together, the movie is as funny as it gets for the 1980's.
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9/10
Straight Up Silly
flatworlder25 February 2006
I bought the DVD of this movie for six dollars. Best deal on a movie I've ever seen. Having been raised in the 90's I missed out on many of those fantastic 80's films. Dan and Chevy really make the movie work. Very few actors could have taken a movie with as little plot as Spies Like Us and turned into a funny soup bowl full of laughs. One more thing, perhaps the funniest scene in any movie happens early on. Where Chevy Chase is cheating on the test...Priceless. If you like over-the-top government action, with hilarious scenes and horrible attempts to hit on beautiful women. You'll love this movie.

If not...Then you need to take a moment to look at your life, relax, and just enjoy something every once in a while.
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8/10
Vintage Chevy Chase
PatriotsReign27 July 2005
For Chevy Chase fans, this film displays one of his vintage performances---right up there with a couple of his "Vacation" films and "Fletch." He and Dan Aykroyd form a great comedic duo with great chemistry that will leave you wanting for more.

The setting changes rapidly from DC, to Pakistan, to the former Soviet Union. Chase and Aykroyd are identified as expendable Department of State personnel, and therefore trained as covert agent decoys and tasked with an ultra top-secret mission deep inside Soviet territory. The newly appointed agent/spies don't realize they're decoys, but rather, think they're real agents on a real mission. Good stuff.

Together, their bumbling antics throughout agent training and their top-secret mission are good for steady laughs from beginning to end, as they find themselves playing the "accidental hero" role charged with saving the world.

Very scenic locations, some decent special effects (for the mid-80's), and some serious plot-twists amidst the silly humor enables "Spies Like Us" to hold the viewer's attention in-between comedic situations.
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Hilarious
thirdi31 October 2001
I'm surprised this movie isn't higher rated. No, it's not "Lawrence of Arabia" but not every movie has to be "artistically respectable". Just look at the names of the two main characters, Emmett Fitz-Hume and Austin Milbarge, and you know what you're in for.

Aykroyd and Chase are hilarious and this movie is a laugh a minute. Yes, there are dumb jokes, slapstick humor, ridiculous scenarios and odd cameos (doctor? doctor?)...But that's what's great about it, you just turn your brain off and take it in.

I've seen this movie a hundred times and could watch it a hundred more, I guess it's one of those "love it or hate it" things. But "we mock what we don't understand".
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7/10
"What's a dickfer?"
utgard1421 June 2014
Two inept CIA recruits (Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd) are chosen to act as decoy spies while the real spies complete a top secret mission, only the two don't know they aren't real spies. Hilarious Cold War comedy from John Landis in the tradition of the classic Hope & Crosby 'Road' movies. Despite some swearing and sexy parts (mild by Landis standards), this is a very old school type of comedy. The jokes come from putting two top comedians in funny situations and letting them cut loose. Aykroyd and Chase have perfect chemistry and timing. It's a shame that, unlike Hope & Crosby, they didn't do more than one movie like this. There's a great mix of verbal and physical comedy here. Lots of memorable lines and scenes. Love the music, too. A must for fans of Landis or the two stars. I would recommend it to fans of the old Road movies, as well.
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Setting the mid-80's standard...
tskerese24 February 2003
I loved this movie growing up, and it is one that I can still laugh at today. Chase and Aykroyd have always set the mid-80's standard of what was funny, and this movie proves it. Of course there are flaws, and it probably could've been better...but for what it's worth, I think it's definitely worth owning, let alone watching.

Judging by the comments given about Spies Like Us, it seems most people, in fact, do like it. Of course, it is meant to be a comedy and nothing else. If people were looking for a break-through in film by watching Spies Like Us, then, Yes...you would be let down.

Good characters, akward situations, nice changes in scenery, and classic one-liners....I'd give it an 8, overall.
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8/10
Outrageously funny!
GOWBTW13 January 2008
Chevy Chase and Dan Ackroyd put the "F" in funny in the movie "Spies Like Us". There's something big going on in Russia. Two government workers are sent out to be spies in different countries. They go to the Middle East, they head out to Russia to scope out a nuclear missile being launched. Unbeknowst to them, they aren't trained to be spies, they're trained to be decoys(sitting ducks)! The Middle East was a hoot. Hanged upside-down when Emmett Hume(Chase) explained to the people that they're Americans. The first part was funny when they fail to perform the appendectomy to a patient. They got their big break when the attack enemy lines and bomb out the foreign police. It was ultra funny when the two faux spies checked out the missile and the crew-persons who came out of the tent. Anything else would be boring. At least the men ended up being heroes. Funny, side-splitting, and totally non-stop laughter to make this movie worth its while. 3 out of 5 stars!
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7/10
What does KGB stand for?
CuriosityKilledShawn13 February 2010
I first saw Spies Like Us when I was a kid, when Chevy Chase was my favourite actor. I must have seen it about fifty times since then and I am almost word-perfect on the script. However, I've never owned the DVD since Warner have never released it in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Thankfully it is currently available in HD on the PlayStation network.

Emmett Fitz-Hume and Austin Millbarge (Chase and Aykroyd) are two lowly government workers who are suddenly promoted to the elite GLG-20 spy status after they are caught cheating on a test. What they don't know is that they are just decoys to draw heat away from the real spies and are promptly dumped straight into enemy territory.

Chase and Aykroyd have great chemistry together and I'm surprised they didn't work together much after this (although they did hook up for The Couch Trip, Caddyshack 2 and Nothing But Trouble). There's loads of fun to had in watching them bumble from one zany situation from the next. And, as this is a Landis film, there are director cameos all over the place. Keep a lookout for Terry Gilliam, Martin Brest, Joel Coen, Sam Raimi etc.

Despite the fanbase, Warner have never showed this film any respect or given special treatment of any kind when it comes to the home video market. As I already said, as of yet the only DVD available is the fullscreen version from 1998. Even the HD version I watched was from a very murky print and has terrible sound. If Warner make a Blu Ray from this master it's still not worth buying.

Give it a rent unless a proper remaster is done. Which is unlikely.
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6/10
A bit hit-and-miss but works, mostly
grantss13 May 2016
A bit hit-and-miss but works, mostly.

Two low-level government employees, Emmitt Fitz-Hume (played by Chevy Chase) and Austin Milbarge (Dan Aykroyd), are chosen for a top- secret CIA mission. They are unsuitable as CIA agents but are deliberately chosen for this reason, as their mission is a decoy one and they are expendable. After being fast-tracked through training they are parachuted into Pakistan where all manner of adventures await them.

Quite funny at times, but also very silly at times. Plot is pretty basic and some of the sub-plots are plain stupid. However, for the most part, it works.

The main reason for this is Chevy Chase. He gets some great lines and delivers them perfectly. Dan Aykroyd is fine as the straight man but it is Chevy Chase that makes the movie watchable.

Another positive is the pace of the movie. It is quite frenetic, so even if a scene is a dead end, it is over quickly and we move onto the next scene. The pace helps to cover up the blemishes.

Not a must-see, but there are worse ways to spend 100 or so minutes.
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Chevy Chase STEALS the show in "Spies Like Us"!
brian james28 March 2002
Dan Ackroyd stars as the typical CIA think-tank intelligence analyst and Chevy Chase is our answer to the inept, stupid, lazy and bungling agent who wouldn't even pass the first interview in the REAL world of spying. These two collide (comically) with each other in a complicated scheme orchestrated by rebellious military and civillians where they are used as a "distraction" from the real mission. Ackroyd's leadership enables them to survive to complete their mission while the lascivious Chase spends most of his time thinking like the typical male. When they find a Soviet mobile missile launcher and then receive instructions from their rebellious controllers to "accidently" send the thing on it's way to a target in the US, only the quick thinking of Ackroyd can save the day. This movie has some great comic elements as well as good action scenes with decent stunts. Chevy Chase never fails to entertain with his suave, intelligent(he only acts stupid) and sexy character he made famous in other roles. Dan Ackroyd is GREAT as the straight man who keeps Chevy out of trouble. Add this one to your collection of DVD movies in the comedy section on your shelf!
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Clearly a controversial film.
Aneonscorn20 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Usually it speaks well for a movie if it is controversial and divisive. However, a quick perusal of user comments for Spies Like Us will show that there is no controversy over politics, morality, or historical accuracy. Apparently, you either like this movie or you don't.

I like it. I love it. Always have, always will. That doesn't mean I'm going to be the foremost partisan and start bashing people on the head who disagree. But as one who feels that this flick is worth a watch, at the very least, so that the viewer can decide for him/herself, I think it is my clear duty to say why Spies Like Us rocks my world. I can't make a guarantee: "You'll love this movie!" But I do firmly believe that it is at least worth the three bucks to rent it for a week.

Summary without spoilers: Spies Like Us is the story of two government rubes--Chevy Chase is Emmet Fitzhume, a low-level D.C.-based diplomat, with next to no dedication to his work; he just followed blindly in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Austin Milbarge is a code-breaker and all-things-electric guru who works a dead-end job in the subterranean bowels of the Pentagon. Both men want something more, and have signed up for the Foreign Service exam. However they become the pawns in a deadly cloak-and-dagger operation run by a secretive government agency that fronts as the Ace Tomato Company and the commander of an underground Air Force base. Soon Austin and Emmet find themselves hurried through training and thrust into a mission that will take them across Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.

Well there's your back-of-box story. So far it doesn't sound very different from Three Days of the Condor, or Sneakers, or some other movie without Robert Redford (hey, Spies Like Us doesn't have Robert Redford, so there you go). But of course this movie is laced heavily throughout with Ackroyd's strait-laced goofiness and Chase's masterful physical ineptitude. It may not have been a stretch for either one of these men to perform their characters...maybe they really did just walk onto the set, do their thing, sign some autographs, flirt with actresses, collect their pay and scoot. But "doing their thing" is what works for these guys. It's like Adam Sandler--he does his schtick and you laugh or you groan.

I have to disagree heartily with those comments that put down the directing and the script. This is one of the most quotable movies I know, for better or for worse, and while I wasn't really watching for direction too much, I found nothing seriously amiss. I think this movie, as a broad comedy, works.

Granted: this movie was etched onto my brain at a very tender age. I saw it in the theater at the age of five. I watched it again and again for years, up to the present day. It is dear to me, and so I probably graciously look past its flaws. If you are so annoyed at anachronism, eighties movies, star comic duos, inane jokes, cameos, and improbable endings that you just cannot, will not think of anything else while you watch, then you just may not like it all that much, or possibly you're just a stuffed shirt.

The cameos: Frank Oz, B.B. King, Terry Gilliam, John Landis, et al. Hey, when I was a kid the only cameo I actually recognized was Bob Hope, so it didn't bother me at all. Of course, having never seen a Hope movie at that point, I didn't much get it anyway.

Further comment on another track: this movie is also a broad satire, the subtlety of which is often almost eclipsed by the jokes and pratfalls. But if you look for it, it's there at every turn. If you didn't live through part of the Cold War, it may not be very obvious at all, or may merely appear dull and lifeless. But this movie took place in the midst of perestroika. This time was a curious mix of paranoia, fear, threat, tentative cooperation and normalization. And of course part of it is set in Afghanistan towards the end of the Soviet war there, a region which has taken on an entirely new meaning in the last few years in the minds of any American exposed to the popular press. I like to think that the satire still works; indeed it is very like Dr. Strangelove, but while the latter movie was comic-absurdist, Spies Like Us appropriates the power of Strangelove and subsumes it under hilarity. It is up to the individual viewer to decide if this works or not.

Finally, once again, the script: I think it really works. I think Ackroyd and Chase and, indeed, most of the other actors nail it. The dialogue between the Ace Tomato boys and the Air Force general is pretty fun. Some scripts just stink, and others are undeniably superb, and others can go either way. A joke can stand or fall. I don't deliver jokes very well, but someone else can take my exact words and make it funny. Monty Python, for instance, I think is freakin' hilarious---BUT, when I hear anybody else try to imitate their style, delivery or writing, I usually think it's incredibly dorky, lame, and irritating, which is to say absolutely unbearable. A case in point would be my college humor magazine, which confined itself to attempted British humor and Mac/PC/Windows/Linux jokes, and often tried to combine the two. Dreadful. But check out the quotes page for this movie, and try to imagine the lines being delivered by the actors. What looks flat in print often comes to life on the screen.

Here's a little sample, perhaps a mild SPOILER: It starts with Russian KGB, in dialogue with Fitzhume (with apologies for errors; it's been a while): (Brandishing shiny blade) "Every thirty seconds you do not tell us why you're here, I cut off a finger." "Mine or yours?" "Yours." "Damn!" "You have twenty seconds." "You're not going to start humming the theme from Jeopardy, are you?(Gets slapped by second KGB.) Why are you still hitting me? He's gonna cut my fingers off!"

Okay, so now I'm really done--if you consider yourself intelligent and receptive to different kinds of humor, from high-brow to low-brow, from Coen bros to the Farrelly bros, and are willing to look past a few inherent flaws, I think there is a good chance, maybe 65%, that you will really like this movie. So give it a go.

It's a helluva lot better than Mamet.
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4/10
Consistently average comedy
gcd708 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
John Landis combines with funny men Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd to bring us a rather silly film about two misfit secret service men who are assigned a very dangerous mission. In fact, unbeknown to them, they are decoys who have been thrown to the wolves.

Our two leads do manage to create some funny moments, but they never really hit top gear in a movie which is consistently average. Both Aykroyd and Chase have been better, and both have had better material to work with I'm sure.

Look out for a very funny cameo from one of the world's most loved entertainers. A definite highlight.

Friday, April 30, 1993 - T.V.
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5/10
Ambitious Chase/Aykroyd spy comedy, but only mildly amusing
Wuchakk20 June 2015
As the title implies, "Spies Like Us" (1985) is a globe-trotting spy comedy with Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd. There's a host of peripheral stars, like William Prince and the always excellent Bernie Casey, not to mention a cameo by none other than Bob Hope.

This is a fun movie and it's great to see Chase and Aykroyd when they were so young, the latter with a quintessential 80's haircut. The best highlights are the awesome globe-spanning locations and the two female co-stars, Donna Dixon and Vanessa Angel, but not enough is done with 'em. The film's just not funny enough and it's hard to believe the producers went to such great expense, but failed to hire writers who knew how to do comedy. We're left with a fun, but throwaway flick; even Hope's cameo is a waste of celluloid.

The film runs 102 minutes and was shot in Norway, Morocco, California and England.

GRADE: C
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6/10
Past its sell-by, but still pretty good.
Mr-Fusion29 September 2016
"Spies Like Us" kicks off with some great promise, but stalls out in the third act. Once Chase and Aykroyd actually get to Russia, the eccentric road movie gives way to WWIII farce that just doesn't click. That's kinda disappointing (and as John Landis' sweet '80s run goes, it's a middling effort), but even when it fizzles, it's still the good0natured brand of stupid.

That said, it's fun spotting the director cameos, and there are some good jokes here. Plus, the exam and surgery scenes are classic. My dad's been using the "Doctor. Doctor. Doctor." routine since for decades. It's not "Trading Places", but it's also no "Into the Night".

6/10
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7/10
We leave national security in your hands.
lost-in-limbo19 July 2009
This saw the first pairing of comedians Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd (who later appear in 'Caddyshack II and 'Nothing but Trouble') in a John Landis successfully directed espionage/ Cold War comedy. What a choice of three to bring out the laughs, but I never found it to be the laugh riot that I was hoping. In the end it's a randomly transfixing buddy comedy in the vein of a Bob Hope/ Bing Crosby film (which the former has a sudden cameo in) that has two clueless undercover operatives used as foils to distract KGB from the actual operatives with an assignment. Landis loves his self-knowing, referential gags and Chase's dry style feels suitably catered to this, and Aykroyd complements the balance with his light touches. The timing is always on the mark. Plus let's not forget about the cameos of pals in for the fun including Frank Oz, Joel Coen, Sam Raimi, B.B King, Terry Gilliam, Martin Brest, Larry Cohen and Ray Harryhausen. Rounding off the entertaining performances was the beautiful Donna Dixon, larger than life Steve Forest, a sneaky Bruce Davison, slimly Jim Staahl and an attractive Vanessa Angel.

The humour ranges from slapstick shtick to comically witty exchanges (Chase's often quick replies) and deadpan acts, as the equipped story is a comedy of errors led by two hapless individuals which would end up saving the day in an unlikely manner. It's a fairly amusing and offbeat concept, as it holds surprises, its fast momentum never lets it sit too long on the one gag. There such a variety to the comic silliness and it goes out on a bang. The crystal clear European locations are exquisitely used in shots, and adds considerably well to the large-scale adventure directed by verve from Landis.

Landis would team up again with Chevy Chase a year later to bring us the even better '¡Three Amigos!' that would also star Steve Martin and Martin Short.

On a need to know basis… good dashing, systematic fun.
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3/10
The Spy Who Goosed Me...
mark.waltz15 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The two Saturday Night Live original cast vets must have thought that their presence alone would save this hideous piece of dreck where the jokes are more out of "Scooby Doo" than "Animal House". The veteran character actors in the film play their parts totally serious, which works for them, but when they are surrounded by the idiotic foolishness of the two leads, you feel sorry for them, not the leading stars.

This isn't the type of film that an audience goes into expecting something that would make Ian Fleming jealous. Dealing with a nuclear bomb hidden in the woods by the Russians (played here with a Boris and Natasaha mentality), the agency that Dan Ackroyd and Chevy Chase work for send them in as decoys so the real spies can find the rocket. But fate intervenes, and these two numbskull's might just be the ones to save the world. But who will save the 100 minutes you waste shaking your head at this idiotic mess? I wasn't expecting a screenplay of Orson Welles proportions, but when you are making a comedy for adults, the jokes need to rise above the mentality of a fifth grader. Even in the popular slob comedies of the early 1980's ("Caddyshack", "Stripes", etc.), there was heart and innocence in the humor, but here it is simple stupidity, and an insult to the audience to even try and buy what the filmmakers are trying to sell. I like the two actors, and fondly remember Donna Dixon from "Bosom Buddies", but in the past, they have been given much better material. Sadly, this makes "The Three Stooges in Outer Space" look like a genius in comparison.
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4/10
Not so good.
sheepmonk20006 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This film is not so good. It's definitely watchable mind, but in terms of it been funny, well it fails on all counts. The script is amusing, but it's by no means gut busting. Chevy Chase character is undeniably the funnier out of the two, but like I said only funny to the point of creating a couple of wry smiles here and there.

As for the story, well, it feels like old familiar territory and the film itself looks and feels as though it was made on a purse string budget. Some of the dialogue is kind of weak by the supporting cast but the main two leads certainly have the best lines in the film. So all in all, this film ain't that bad but it ain't that good either. 4/10.
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8/10
good ol' Cold War comedy
lee_eisenberg20 September 2005
Comedies like "Dr. Strangelove" and "Spies Like Us" make one long for the Cold War, when they could actually make such comedies. In the latter, government employees Emmett Fitzhume (Chevy Chase) and Austin Milbarge (Dan Aykroyd) are recruited for something. They think that they're going to be spies, but they're really decoys for some saber-rattling between the US and USSR. They finally have to take action when the threat of a nuclear holocaust becomes real. Chevy Chase does his usual goofy things, and Dan Aykroyd is his usual uptight-but-silly self. There's some interesting guest appearances: Bob Hope chasing his golf ball, and Greg from "Animal House" as a very shady character. A great comedy.
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9/10
One of the best comedies of the '80's
Maniac-92 February 2013
Out of all the comedies produced in the 1980's, it's still one of those movies that make me laugh at all the same jokes even though I have seen this movie endless amounts of times. And no matter how many times I see it, it still is as funny as the last time I've seen.

It's all the early SNL actors who went into movies during this time contributes to the golden age of comedic movies. Chevy Chase was on top of his game in the '80's, so was Dan Aykroyd. There's just something about movies like this movie, Stripes, Caddyshack, Trading Places and so on that just stand the test of time so well. I would much rather be in an era of comedic films like this then the garbage that came out in the early 2000's with all the dumb Farrelly Brothers and American Pie films. How many times can you say a different variation on a dick or fart joke before you realize that's all that those hacks have in their repertoire.
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4/10
Funny, but I was hoping for more
nucksfan4life13 September 2002
"Spies Like Us" to me was a movie that could have been so much more. Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd together is a combination that has so much potential. The movie did put them in some pretty funny situations. Chase with the Russian interrogators was a humorous moment in the movie. I just felt like there could have been more. Both are very good at spurting off one-liners, Chase especially, but even their one-liners in this movie seemed like they needed some work. This is one of those movies that was good to watch, but I'm not sure if it will be one that I'll always remember.
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1/10
Chump-comedy with beleaguered leads...
moonspinner5518 August 2007
Two nudnicks (Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd) think they're being trained as spies for the United States government when actually they're being used as guinea pigs against the Russian defense. Fans of TV's "Saturday Night Live" may never have guessed that one-time rivals Chase and Aykroyd would end up starring in a picture together, or that "Blues Brothers" filmmaker John Landis would be directing, however they may be the only audience for this type of slapstick silliness. The script is threadbare, and Landis relies heavily on hammy gags and scenery-chewing. Shapely Donna Dixon (Mrs. Aykroyd) has a funny, sexy bit, but Steve Forrest and Bruce Davison get trampled in the sloppy action. Hopelessly out-of-touch star vehicle. * from ****
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8/10
Father and Son Fun
darylfant7 April 2019
I was about 12 when I watched this movie for the first time. I'm sure it was on HBO at my home in the suburbs. I really enjoyed it for the silly humor. Today I'm watching the movie with my 12 year old son. Of course, he didn't want to watch anything that old. Soon he was laughing with me. We paused to talk about Chevy Chase and Dan Akroyd getting their start on Saturday Night Live (he's expressed interest in how that show has been on for so long and how it fights to remain relevant). Chevy Chase remains funny with 12 year old boys. I enjoyed reliving and sharing a moment from my past. There are a lot of comedy elements that hold up well. There are cute little "of the time" Easter Eggs like blowing up an MTV satellite, Russian spies looking American by wearing pastel polo shirts and penny loafers, and playing trivial pursuit to divvy up Eastern Europe. We enjoyed it.
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9/10
If u rated this less than 8...
brucerey36 March 2019
You're an a-joke. Truly. This is a great comedy of the 80's.
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9/10
Cold War comedy at its best
file8313 April 2018
This is up there with Dr. Strangelove as hilarious col war comedy which delivers on the message that nuclear warfare is human folly. Dan Akroid and Chevy Chase at their prime. War Games in 1983 is another entertaining approach to this topic, though with less comedy and more suspense.
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6/10
Decent Comedy
gavin69421 August 2016
Two bumbling government employees (Aykroyd and Chase) think they are American spies, only to discover that they are actually decoys for Nuclear War.

"Spies Like Us" was met with mixed to negative reviews at the time of its 1985 release, though it has since been viewed more favorably and has developed something of a cult following in the years since. I cannot imagine this getting a negative review, though I understand why it might be mixed. This is obviously not the funniest comedy from either Aykroyd or Chase.

I suppose the popularity has grown because there is something about 80s comedies that can't be replicated. Some would say a second-rate 80s comedy is better than many since then. Even if Aykroyd and Chase starred in something now (2016), it would come nowhere near the possibility it had then.
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