Picks and Pans Review: Spies Like Us

updated 01/13/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/13/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

The most fitting moment in Spies Like Us is also the film's most damning. In the middle of the shenanigans perpetrated by bumbling intelligence agents Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase, Bob Hope suddenly saunters into a tent in Pakistan brandishing a golf club. "Mind if I play through?" he asks. Hope's cameo makes perfect sense: Spies Like Us tries to imitate the kind of freewheeling, globe-trotting, buddy-buddy comedy that Hope and Bing Crosby made with so much skill 40 years ago. Watching Aykroyd and Chase ghost-walk through this mundane effort, it's hard to remember that they were anywhere near the cutting edge of comedy. It's even harder to accept this soggy white-bread humor knowing that Aykroyd co-wrote the script with Babaloo (Splash) Mandel and that it was directed by John Landis, who once brilliantly showcased the Saturday Night Live sensibility in National Lampoon's Animal House. As Chase's graying temples and Aykroyd's new second chin attest, these comics are no longer young, and they're doing something they never did in their younger days. They're playing it safe. (PG)

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