Spies Like Us (1985) | John Landis


the film review website quips dot net i check out over four thousand of my written reviews re there any time quipped stir dot net is where to go w. i s. t. e. r. dot net hi welcome to around the world in eighty s movies my name is vince leo i am the author the at that time a comedy vehicle starring accurate himself as well as his frequent partner in comedies john belushi accurate wanted her to send up a soviet missile in order to test the united states anti-missile satellite defenses very similar to ronald reagan's star wars defense system got to be starting off the review last week i did of film called rambo three that featured afghan freedom fighters in this film also features afghan nations and that's followed by run ins with the KGB and russians during this effort to dry dry out the identities of soviet spies in the area so that the references comic violence lay which this is one of those kinds of PG films even though PG thirteen did exist at the time of its release that probably would be PG thirteen unreal american spies can complete their mission to check out this new style of soviet missile launchers and they end up finding out that the mission is that they're going to use this launched us in a nuclear war now spice like us a scripted by dan ackroyd he wrote this film in the early nineteen eighty s it was originally meant to be that i seized and parachuting into pakistan and from there the bumbling deal ends up in afghanistan where they're mistaken for doctors there on a humanitarian mission for the united clean today because it's language and a little bit of sexual humor in it the runtime of spies like us is an hour and forty one minutes now on the OD or streaming services you can check out my website that's i quit stor dot net today i'm going to be getting into a three part series to that bob hope does make an appearance in spies like us he makes a literal walk on cameo appearance playing a round of golf through the set the chevy chase and austin mill barge play by dan ackroyd they were scouted by the cia after the end of the cheating on their advanced placement exams and they are put on this mission take this a rehashing of the old kind of bob hope bing crosby road films like the road to rio road to whatever that he had enjoyed when he was young as roma's spies like us it has a very doctor strange love esque plot it's about these two of the most inept and low level US intelligence agents that you could find own bernie casey and vanessa angel are also in the film screenplay is written by dan ackroyd along with low ganz and bob lou mandela to PG rated film it does have sexual and fighters we're gonna kick off this trilogy of CIA buddy comedies with a film that came out in one thousand nine hundred eighty five stars chevy chase and dan aykroyd sheeting to work again on the script with fellow canadian comedian dave thomas during this jamaican getaway that would help to retool the script to try to make up into limbo because of the untimely death of john belushi in one thousand nine hundred two from drug overdose in that pretty much put it on the shelf for a little while now accolade would end up spy element and to stick to the basics of what would end up producing laughs together the screenwriters would end up mixing the original scripts inept CIA egan premises i scored an oscar nomination for their script to splash so they were also hot at the time and they were brought into remove the excess in terms of the heavier emphasis on the eighty so a lot of very in the new stuff was put into the script during this phase now as for the director the role would end up getting filled by john landis now john there's more topical nature of american soviet tension especially as it related to the potential for nuclear war that was a big threat in the minds of many people during the early to mid nineteen us they wanted him to do this film after successful outings with ackward in the blues brothers and trading places landis didn't really want part of it but his lawyer for baluchis absence for brief period it was not that dave thomas would be the one to actually use the screenplay for his own vehicle to star in with his co. SETV on the second unit filming of his segment of twilight zone the movie that resulted in the death of actor vic morrow and two vietnamese child actors it is called spies like us it's a film directed by john landis donna dixon steve forrest bruce davison william prince tom hatton charles mckee she accurate pairing was proving to be as appealing as the hope crosby pairing after the success of nineteen eighties the blues brothers however the script would end up going in dainik raid had the hotter hand at the time in terms of box office appeal especially after co writing and co starring in the phenomenally popular nineteen eighty-four film ghostbuster partner rick moranis but he wasn't really tested enough in films to make such a highly ambitious and very expensive film bankable to produce their chances of pushing all of the blame for the deaths of more oh and the other child actors on landis alone he reluctantly signed on without even reading the script but once he up advising him to give it a go because for no other reason than it actually showed that warner brothers felt that he was actually trustworthy to be given the reins of a project and that ruin accurate knew he needed an established counterweight in comedy to make his film complete as a buddy comedy so one day after running into chevy chase at a party and reminiscent there was a prolonged lawsuit that would follow that put landis at odds with the studio warner brothers that made him initially balked at working for them again when they gave him the script to spies away and he would make this supremely silly road movie completely different from the kind of movie that he had just made warner brothers as far as the casting goes was pushing to put accurate grueling for the cast and crew for most of that in contrast the sahara desert really cooked the cast and crew on a daily basis as well temperatures other than chase making a short appearance in the music video for ghostbusters so the ended up working together but it wasn't all fun games in fact chevy chase seemed to be a little bit miserable to morocco for the segments that involve the trip to pakistan and afghanistan and that was followed by additional shooting california in lancaster palmdale as well as some shots in chaste to become a little bit jealous grouchy overbearing it caused some friction with director john landis who didn't even want chevy chase to be in the film getting in ghostbusters for the same reason but she ended up getting convinced to audition with everyone else if she managed to earn it on her own so she gave it a go and she got the part speaking of ghostbusters dan eckerd was able to bring over for spies like us the same composer in elmer bernstein to score with a lot of his trademark in the end up going on a mission as expendable decoys for the real agents that are out and about their names are emmett fitz hume play by give it a look he did feel that it was a good opportunity to get away from the heaviness of this lawsuit and what he had been through with the deaths by filming overseas so it took them all during parts of it they had their fun working together for the most part but democrats films were actually far better known to those that they were working with while they were shooting in london cost chevy that initially gave landis mixed feelings because it was quite a coup to get such a major talent to contribute a song but by the time they signed him on the movie was pretty much finished rainer from the group split ends and also the backing vocals the track would end up shooting to number seven on the billboard hot one hundred chart in the united states and the music video that ran near a hundred and thirty degrees fahrenheit this was a really tough shoot especially for making such a light comedy donna dixon she was initially reluctant ended up featuring mccartney along with the stars of spies like us chevy chase and dan aykroyd but it's not a song that was embraced by mccartney in his discography he mostly has distanced himself from playing the song in his concerts despite it being his final top ten hit in the united states cameo appearances galore are also about old times he ended up coaxing his co star from saturday night live to do this as a buddy film with him it was their first collaboration since set it in that light here's so they decided to hone the script a little bit more by handing it to a screenwriting team with a good deal of recent success in comedies lowell ganz and bob lou mandel they adjust landis obviously if you follow films in the nineteen eighties he had a great track record during this period his reputation ended up getting blemished somewhat due to a tragic accident during light and playful compositions now in addition to the elmer bernstein score there was also a hit song the warner brothers ended up approaching paul mccartney to do the title song for spies like us a compromise that the song would end up playing during the closing credits instead of the opening credits so long as he was able to continue to show images on the screen when goes spies like us can be a bit of a mixed bag it's enjoyment certainly going to depend on the viewer's expectations and your state of mind at the time of viewing it although it is how far that the actors are willing to go to get a laugh i saw this when i was fifteen years old in the theater and i thought it was actually very funny at the time and that's going to be used to convince the soviet union that the united states has the edge in technology and they should just give up thinking that they are going to be effective against it hit me at the right time at the right stage in my life since then i haven't been as enamored of it as i was back then but i still enjoy watching it i think if you it's not appear on that album but it does appear as a bonus track on cds that were issued later he performed all the instruments on the track except for the synthesizer which was done by washington DC the norway scenes where well below zero temperatures it was very very cold the snow was as deep as eight feet in parts of the shoot in that meeting to take the role in the film she was alive still is the wife of dan ackroyd she didn't want special treatment for getting the part she had similarly turned down the role that sigourney weaver would end up the song started playing so that it would keep people in the seats to be able to listen to the song paul mccartney worked on this during the period he was making his album called press to play it deflated so they ended up tacking on an additional ending after this make love not war diversion they were able to add an extra scene of epilogue where nuclear wars time with blues man called BB king into the night and that was a collection of music videos that john landis directed meant to promote BB king's next album of the same name in addition to that read with another saturday night live player named joe piscopo he seemed to be red hot at the time but it didn't quite come together without piscopo and without john belushi this is ended up liking it even critics were not exactly enamored of the film despite a rather large budget for comedy it was reportedly twenty two million dollars a brand new one that looks at films of the nineteen eighty s that our buddy comedies that have a CIA titan of some sort today ended up getting played out on board games instead of in real world scenarios in that snap the tone back to its tongue in cheek vibe that was achieved in its best moments in on it what the film is known for if you follow john landis films this is very much indicative of the kind of comedies he makes BB king gets apart john landis happened to be working on a documentary short at the the kids film in any way i think that younger viewers and those who just enjoy silly shenanigans are going to find the slapstick humor in slapdash zany this to be amusing for mates so that such a downbeat ending to an otherwise light and goofy film could be avoided nevertheless the threat of nuclear annihilation whether it was carried out or not on the road i think that you kinda give spies like us a pass if you're a big fan of either of the two lead stars certainly wants to film was completed test audiences mostly complained not the intended ending that would result in world war three erupting duty the botched mission that essentially caused the end of the world you presume revisions what ended up having to be just a million dollars behind the goonies which was also considered a pretty big hit or the time despite its comedic star appeal spies like us it really has not gone down to be considered a classic nineteen eighties comedy like so many others of its era although it is generally liked by audiences as a diversion more so than as a comedy that ghostbusters but nevertheless i think that there are enough laughs and it's definitely diverting enough in its plot in many locales and many cameos name and a few others are in the film as well so if you know your directors and you'll get a kick out of seeing them on the screen now as far as the finished product legit spies like us when ended up being actually pretty big hit in one thousand nine hundred five it spent two entire months in the top ten films in the united states erect up comedies especially throwbacks to the bob hope and bing crosby era of comedies you'll get some mileage out of that as well beyond that it's not one i would consider going well out of original cast of saturday night live especially you probably will get a kick out of it and some of the humor in regards to women as objects maybe that hasn't aged as well certainly it's still a bit of a heavy way to throw that in at the end of the film and that kind of undercuts the tone of this childish absurdity that would threaten to leave audiences walking out a bit you can look at it through that prism and see a little bit of the problems there but it is breezy it does deliver a handful of funny moments i think that's enough to recommend anyone expecting in the mid nineteen eighty s and given that it's meant to be a throwback though to the hope and crosby era films and the fact that both chasing accurate would do even more inane comedies that those like me who are teens in the nineteen eighties had so the appeal may be limited for gardening new fans but if you're a fan of films of the nineteen eighties and you love the with an objective i critical eye the three stooges level style of mugging the lowbrow humor it's a bit antiquated even for the time it was released with reviews as they come out and until next time thanks everyone for joining me on this trip around the world in eighty s movies all of that stuff to be able to be considered a worthwhile viewing for people who just like escapist comedy entertainment so for that i'm going to give it it's a marginal score but i'm going to those places as well as far as what i'm going to be reviewing on the next episode continuing on with the theme of CIA buddy comedies this one i think at four aykroyd really vouch for him now the bulk of the production will be done at twickenham's studios in london and then they proceed to norway for the snowy winter scenes and then along with john ritter it's nineteen eighty-seven action comedy called real men and that will be on the very next episode checkout real men if you want to keep naqoura to continue his comedic momentum going in as a screenwriter you may be disappointed that the funniest moments in spies like us would be comparable to the least funny moments during that time a hefty sixty million dollars off of that twenty two million dollar budget and that place did at the end of the year as the tenth highest grossing film of nineteen eighty five i at the time he didn't want to re edit the opening of the film to accommodate this new song so a lot of back and forth was in play john landis and warner brothers ended up coming to ours is what i will give spies like us thank you everyone for listening i hope that you enjoyed this review if you have your own thoughts on spies like us you want to impart to me you can find my contact information of your way to see but if it happens to be on somewhere you see it's streaming just want you lasts without a lot of high overhead i think that spies like us will fit the bill for that so three they might fully embrace but it will probably score a stroke better for juvenile viewers many kids today may not have the kind of love for the originals headed in life stars bob hope yet frank oz terry gilliam ray harry house in joel coen sam remy martin brest custody bravo's michael apted larry cohen edwin newman bob swing my website that's a quick stir dynamic queue WIP s. t. e. r. dot net where you'll find links to my twitter feed facebook page as well as my instagram you can also contact me in any the three stars out of four stars on my screen so they do recommend it for people who like this kind of movie you're huge fan of accurate and chase you'll get the most mileage out of it if you like your slapstick he has

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