Corey Gage (Drew Van Acker) is one of the world's top spies, an adventurer who thinks nothing of travelling the world on expeditions, using the most advanced gadgets available to him, and saving The Free World from international conspiracies and menaces. What he is not is attached, and he has seen to it that women don't play a part in his life, except professionally, so one day when he is out on a mission to trace the villainous Egan Doyle (Max Silvestri) and he accidentally bumps into a makeup shop assistant called Pam Grayson (Poppy Delevingne) he is curiously smitten by her obviously irritated manner. He's not used to women talking to him in this way, and strikes up a conversation with her as Doyle gets away....
It was plain to see that Spy Intervention had as its favourite decade of spy movies the nineteen-sixties, as there were plenty of homages to that era throughout the plot, even as far as its central romance which you could envision Doris Day getting mixed up with back in the, er, day. Not that Doris would have used the kind of strong language heard here, but one supposed they had to do something to distinguish itself from children's entertainment, which if you turned the sound down in many scenes would be exactly what it looked like. When it came down to it, this was a would-be sophisticated spy spoof that was not as sophisticated as it (perhaps) would have preferred to appear, given the way it was often undercutting itself with goofiness.
Some audiences took one look at the deliberately artificial special effects and were turned off immediately, not realising they were an homage to the sort of setpieces you would be offered in an old episode of Batman or Get Smart, even The Man from U.N.C.L.E. which was not an overt spoof. If you were tuned to this nostalgic sensibility, you would get more out of Spy Intervention than someone who was not brought up either on reruns, or if you were more mature in years, seeing those shows on their first broadcast, and director Drew Mylrea may have been operating on a limited budget, but he made a virtue of it. There was a lot pleasing about Corey's jetpack or the hokey shots of the foreign climes that peppered the narrative, but really this was a story about a relationship, complete with romcom trappings (comic misunderstandings, Brittany Furlan as wisecracking best pal, etc).
And making that relationship work, when there is a big secret that could sabotage the wedded bliss Corey and Pam settle down to in the suburbs once they have sufficiently impressed one another. It was difficult to tell if the film preferred the safe, stable existence or was more enamoured of the high-octane life of a secret agent; certainly Pam seems better suited to quieter times with her constantly alluded to dinner party, but this was a movie, and we are usually told in those we should be having a tremendously exciting experience day on day to feel fulfilled. Certainly when Corey's colleagues drag him away from cardboard box selling to another mission with his former ally Smuts (comedian Blake Anderson) and stand-in wife Alexandria (Natasha Bassett banishing unfortunate memories of her Britney Spears TV movie to resemble Tex Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood updated for the twenty-twenties) we're none too clear whether this is good or not, and this uncertainty served up tension but also a confusion of tone. Still, if you like sixties homages, this was a neato contribution to the genre. Music by Roger Suen, adeptly sustaining that vibe.