Tiresome spoof of the action/spy genre just doesn’t hold up to previous outings. Leslie Nielsen is Dick Steele, Agent WD-40, who is brought out of retirement when the villainous General Rancor (Andy Griffith) threatens the world with annhilation. Along the way, Nielsen and co. spoof such action flicks as In The Line of Fire, Speed, various James Bond films, as well as films like Sister Act and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. However, the film is never consistently humorous. The largest factor in Spy Hard’s failure is its lack of effort. The movie focuses on one gag for a while, sometimes hitting a vein of humor, but more often it sticks with all too obvious generalities. In prior successes of the genre, such as Airplane! or The Naked Gun, the jokes were everywhere, so thick that if one bombed, three more were instantly there to take its place. With Spy Hard, when a joke bombs, it sits there for a while, until eventually another joke comes along. While the movie does have it’s triumphs (the opening credits are great), most of the time it seems to coast along, not really trying to accomplish anything other than replay scenes from other movies except with Nielsen playing one role or another. All of which leaves you waiting interminably for the next spoof, and checking your watch for the end of this one.
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