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CHEVY CHASE AND DAN AYKROYD SEEK HOPE IN 'SPIES LIKE US'

Title: Spies Like Us Year: 1986 Rating: ***

Spouting technical jargon with a computer-like brain, Dan Aykroyd could have made the perfect GHOSTBUSTERS type straight man... so it's strange John Landis made him equally buffoonish as Chevy Chase within the jovial spirit of those Hope/Crosby "Road" movies of yesteryear's yesteryear: Making SPIES  LIKE US an attempt to get young viewers into the frolicking comic adventure the director (and his generation) grew up on... 

The funniest scenes occur during the training camp with Bernie Casey as a tough but likeable Sgt. Hulka type while square-jawed Steve Forrest and Pentagon partner Tom Hatten feel part of a bonafide Russian vs America Cold War thriller (Steve's brother Dana Andrews starred in one of the first), sending our reluctant/oblivious expendables to randomly traipse from the Arab desert to snowy missile-hiding Russia. And along this ROAD are are some fun obstacles and decent one-liners ("What's a Dickfer?" "To pee with").... albeit dialogue that could've been uttered by any comedic actor. For unlike Landis/Aykroyd's classic BLUES BROTHERS and TRADING PLACES, the talent isn't deliberately retrofitted to the surroundings. Instead, our two SNL vets seem like guest stars in someone else's picture, and, this being a deliberate homage, perhaps that was the nostalgic director's intention all along.

Chevy Chase watching the President in a movie from SPIES LIKE US
The movie is She's Working Her Way Through College with Virginia Mayo
Techie Dan Aykroyd on an old school computer in SPIES LIKE US

Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd in SPIES LIKE US
Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd in SPIES LIKE US
Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd in SPIES LIKE US
Animal House baddie James Daughton in SPIES LIKE US with Jim Stahl
Chevy Chase w/ Dan Aykroyd's real life wife Donna Dixon in SPIES LIKE US
Donna Dixon in SPIES LIKE US doing Lawrence of Arabia homage
Tom Hatton and Steve Forrest dead serious fro SPIES LIKE US
Bernie Casey flanked by Chevy Chase & Dan Aykroyd in SPIES LIKE US

Terry Gilliam in SPIES LIKE US
Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd in SPIES LIKE US
Landis style end credits for SPIES LIKE US with Chevy Chase
Landis style end credits for SPIES LIKE US with Dan Aykroyd
Landis style end credits for SPIES LIKE US with Donna Dixon
Landis style end credits for SPIES LIKE US with Steve Forrest
Landis style end credits for SPIES LIKE US with Bernie Casey
Landis style end credits for SPIES LIKE US with Tom Hatten
Landis style end credits for SPIES LIKE US with James Daughton
Landis style end credits for SPIES LIKE US with sexy Russian Vanessa Angel
Landis style end credits for SPIES LIKE US with important cameo Bob Hope
Landis style end credits for SPIES LIKE US with stopmotion guru Ray Harryhausen

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