Spy Hard (1996)
The premiere of the writing style of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. I think we can safely call them parody aggregates. Take classic movie tropes but especially scenes or themes from very current movies and quilt together a variety of jokes based on them. The spy movie storyline basically just keeps a coherence to the plot and is the framework they build the “gags” around.
Some of it is funny, some of it is not.
After having spent so much time on old movies before watching this, I’ve got an odd realization. Leslie Nielsen was certainly prolific in the 60 years he acted but there are some similarities between gigs. His comedy in Airplane!, the Naked Gun movies, and Spy Hard among many others is sort of like what you’d get if someone consciously fused together Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper into a screwball, lowbrow comedian. It’s like he saw them on stage and went on to be a satirical parody of the leading men of his youth.
Friedberg and Seltzer are interesting in a financial way. They make movies on a consistent budget of around 20 million dollars and then bring in 4-5 times that amount in worldwide gross. Their only “failure” was Disaster Movie and that still turned a profit. Critically unsuccessful but consistently successful at the box office…
Nicollette Sheridan looks somewhat better younger but is still very mannish.
This movie probably isn’t worth your time but for spy comedies it wasn’t horrible.