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The Spy Who Dumped Me

R16: Strong violence, offensive language, and nudity

Spoiler alert

This page outlines how the classification criteria were applied. We do our best to discuss the content while avoiding spoilers, but please avoid reading this information if you do not want to learn anything about the content of this movie.

About the film

The Spy Who Dumped Me is a comedy-action film from the United States. It follows best friends Audrey and Morgan. Audrey is upset when her boyfriend Drew breaks up with her via a text message. She then learns that Drew is a spy, and he tasks her with meeting up with his contact in Austria with a Fantasy Football trophy, which contains an important flash drive. Things go awry immediately as Audrey and Morgan unwittingly become entangled in an international terrorist conspiracy. Working with MI6 agent Sebastian, they must keep the flash drive safe while trying not to be killed by shadowy underworld agents.

The Spy Who Dumped Me

Date registered: 12/07/2018

Classification criteria: Sex

The film deals with sex to a low extent and in a comic manner. Characters talk frankly and casually about sexual matters: Morgan tells Audrey that a man sent her pictures of his penis and she is mildly unhappy about this. Balzac wine is used as a pun for “ballsack”. Morgan tells a woman that Audrey has had sex dreams about the Minions (children’s cartoon characters), to which Audrey replies that she only dreamt about one particular minion, and asks whether they are supposed to stand in for penises.

Drew holds a gun in The Spy Who Dumped Me

Classification criteria: Crime

The film deals with crime extensively as the characters are caught in an overblown international terrorist conspiracy. Vehicles are stolen in order to escape situations, and at one point Audrey and Morgan steal the passports of two Australian tourists in order to travel anonymously. There are also minor references to illegal drugs: for example, a taxi driver says that he has “smoked so much meth” as he drives recklessly through the streets, and Morgan and Audrey admit to consuming cocaine.

Audrey in The Spy Who Dumped Me

Classification criteria: Violence and cruelty

The film deals with cruelty and violence extensively and to a high degree. There are many fight scenes in which characters use guns and other makeshift weapons to attack each other. Violent acts are accompanied by loud sound effects and bloody injuries, making the scenes quite impactful. This includes:

  • A shootout erupts in a busy café. The action is frenetic as people attack one another. Audrey shoots a man in the chest. A man impales a woman’s forearm to a table using a kitchen knife. A woman is caught in the crossfire and blood sprays from her body. 
  • During a high-speed car chase, Audrey and Morgan’s taxi driver is suddenly shot through the head. Blood splatters across the dashboard, and the body is shown with a grievous head wound. Audrey climbs over the body to drive while attackers continue to come at them. One of their attackers climbs onto the car roof, but when Audrey slams on the breaks the person is flung from the car and hit by a bus. Audrey and Morgan casually flee the scene.
  • Audrey cuts a man’s thumb off so she can use his phone. The camera focusses on the hand as Audrey saws at it and twists the thumb off. The effect is convincing and uncomfortable.

While these depictions are strong, they are generally shown in a comic manner. They are unrealistic in that characters are hit hard and suffer bloody injuries, but appear to feel no pain and continue to crack jokes. This kind of violence as entertainment tends to trivialise violence and desensitise viewers toward violence in general.

Audrey and Morgan in The Spy Who Dumped Me

Classification criteria: Offensive language

Characters frequently use highly offensive language such as “fuck” and “shit”, both casually in conversation and in moments of tension and frustration (such as “Go fuck yourself”). As this language is normalised, younger viewers might think that this is appropriate everyday language.

Morgan in The Spy Who Dumped Me

Decision summary

The Spy Who Dumped Me is a fast-paced, fish-out-of-water action film with a heavy focus on comedy. If unrestricted, the film is likely to be injurious to the public good. It contains a high extent of brutal violence which is likely not only to shock and disturb children and younger teenagers, but also desensitise them to violence as it is shown to be exciting and funny. Older teenagers and adults have the experience and critical ability to contextualise the cruelty and violence as part of the spy/action genre and appreciate the humour involved. The high extent of offensive language and occasional sexual references also suggest that the film is intended for mature audiences.

Contact the Information Unit if you require further information on a classification decision.

R16 label
R16: Strong violence, offensive language, and nudity