Spy Hard (1996) starring Leslie Nielsen, Nicollette Sheridan, Charles Durning, Marcia Gay Harden, Barry Bostwick, Andy Griffith, Robert Guillaume directed by Rick Friedberg Movie Review

Spy Hard (1996)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Leslie Nielsen and Nicollette Sheridan in Spy Hard (1996)

Didn't Even Try Hard

I've sat through a few movies where I start clock watching, working out how much longer there is left to go but "Spy Hard" is in a league of its own because I was clock watching within 15 minutes of it starting. Thankfully "Spy Hard" only lasts 81 minutes but then if it had been shorter I most certainly wouldn't have minded. You see "Spy Hard" is another spoof movie starring Leslie Nielsen and whilst not Nielsen's fault this is one of the unfunniest spoof movies I have watched as it tries to parody James Bond and other spy movies with little success. The jokes are unfunny and often unrelated whilst the storyline is worse than weak and you are left wondering whether the humour thrown together was the stuff discarded from other spoof movies, it is that bad.

15 years after not only blowing up evil mastermind General Rancor (Andy Griffith - Waitress) but also watching his partner and love of his life Victoria Dahl (Stephanie Romanov) fall to her death former agent Dick Steele (Leslie Nielsen - Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult) is called back in to action when Rancor resurfaces and takes Victoria's daughter Barbara (Stephanie Romanov) hostage. Trying to lure Steele into a trap to get revenge for losing his arms when Steele thought he had blown him up, Dick is forced to use all his skills and plenty of lucky to try and stop the evil mastermind.

Charles Durning as The Director in Spy Hard (1996)

Now I know that you don't expect much of a storyline when it comes to spoof movies but what is served up in "Spy Hard" barely passes for a storyline. In fact it barely passes as a vehicle for the humour because so much of it is unrelated as well as being unfunny. But whilst you don't expect much a bit more story would certainly have given scope for better humour and trust me this is a movie which is screaming out for better humour.

As for that humour well in the entire movie I didn't laugh once, I didn't laugh at the innuendo of Dick Steele being known as Agent WD-40 and didn't laugh at his accident prone ways. Neither did I laugh at all the comedy action or the gags about stretchy or missing body parts and I certainly didn't laugh at the various moments when it tried to spoof other movies such as "Pulp Fiction" and "Sister Act". And the reason I didn't laugh is that the humour is so poor, it's not that it's juvenile and so didn't appeal it's just poor and unfunny and so many of the gags are unrelated that it seems desperate.

But "Spy Hard" has a couple of things going for it on top of Leslie Nielsen who tries to get laughs from the lamest of jokes. The first thing it has going for it is that it features 'Weird Al' Yankovic singing the very Bond-esque theme song which does have some amusing lyrics. And the other thing is that there are a surprising amount of well known faces such as Robert Guillaume, Pat Morita, Mr T, Charles Durning and Andy Griffith in various roles. If it wasn't for the fact that you get the occasional pleasant surprise of recognizing an actor it would be bad.

What this all boils down to is that "Spy Hard" is not a good movie in fact it is one of the worst spoof movies I have ever watched and the one which had me clock watching within 15 minutes of it starting. It's saving grace is that not only does Leslie Nielsen try and make the unfunny funny but it does feature many well known faces which end up a pleasant distraction.