For a re­view of “Christo­pher Robin,’

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De­spite a sim­i­lar ti­tle, “Christo­pher Robin” is in no way to be con­fused with “Good­bye Christo­pher Robin,” last fall’s soberly fact­based drama about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween “Win­ni­ethe-Pooh” au­thor A.A. Milne and his son. (Christo­pher Robin Milne, as you may re­mem­ber, was the in­spi­ra­tion for the fa­mous stuffed bear’s hu­man com­pan­ion, a small British boy called Christo­pher Robin.)

The ti­tle char­ac­ter of Dis­ney’s gen­tly charm­ing new live-ac­tion/CGI hy­brid, played by an earnest and win­some Ewan McGre­gor, is a grown-up ver­sion of Pooh’s en­tirely fic­tional Christo­pher Robin, now a mar­ried fa­ther of one who works for a Lon­don lug­gage man­u­fac­turer. He’s dis­af­fected, it seems: in his job, in his mar­riage to Eve­lyn (Hay­ley Atwell) and in his re­la­tion­ship with his young daugh­ter Made­line (Bronte Carmichael).

Dis­af­fected, that is, un­til Pooh shows up in post-World War II Lon­don one day, via a Nar­nia-like por­tal in the base of a hol­low tree, to re­mind Christo­pher about Just What Re­ally Mat­ters in Life. (Purists may be mildly irked to learn that “Robin” has some­how be­come Christo­pher’s last name, rather than his mid­dle name. But that’s Dis­ney for you. In terms of source ma­te­rial, “Christo­pher Robin” at times shows more re­spect for the movie stu­dio’s own zeal­ously guarded fran­chise, go­ing back to the 1966 short “Win­nie the Pooh and the Honey Tree,” than to Milne’s books of the 1920s.)

But no mat­ter. “Christo­pher Robin” is still a sweetly good-na­tured fa­ble, with win­ning voice per­for­mances by Dis­ney veteran Jim Cummings in the dual roles of Pooh and Tig­ger, and es­pe­cially by Brad Gar­rett as the per­pet­u­ally gloomy Eey­ore (a role that seems made for him). And the movie, di­rected by Marc Forster from a script by Alex Ross Perry, Tom McCarthy and Al­li­son Schroeder, gets one big thing very right: the Zen-like wis­dom of Pooh, who is fond of ut­ter­ing such things as “I al­ways get to where I’m go­ing by walk­ing away from where I’ve been.” Such koan-es­que apho­risms — cel­e­brated in the not en­tirely tongue-in-cheek 1982 book of phi­los­o­phy “The Tao of Pooh” — are sprin­kled lib­er­ally through­out “Christo­pher Robin” and are some of the film’s great­est plea­sures.

Other­wise, the film is pretty con­ven­tional Dis­ney fare: silly, slap­sticky, all-too-neatly wrapped up and punc­tu­ated by a sur­feit of poignant mo­ments, as when Christo­pher’s child­hood stuffed an­i­mals — with whom his nowdead­ened imag­i­na­tion once ran wild — tell him how much they miss him. (All to­gether now: Awww.)

Chil­dren will en­joy the bone-rat­tling chases and prat­falls into pud­dles of honey, and adults (or at least the sen­ti­men­tally in­clined ones) will get misty-eyed re­mem­ber­ing their own lost child­hoods.

As teddy bear-based fan­tasy goes, how­ever, “Christo­pher Robin” is no “Padding­ton.” In its jour­ney from hither to yon, the movie takes us to some pretty inane places, ul­ti­mately mak­ing the ar­gu­ment that Pooh and his friends from the Hun­dred Acre Wood may have been in­stru­men­tal in in­tro­duc­ing the con­cept of paid leave to Bri­tain.

Am I over­think­ing a sim­ple chil­dren’s fa­ble? Prob­a­bly so. As Pooh - a self-de­scribed “bear of very lit­tle brain” once noted, too much brain power is not nec­es­sar­ily a good thing. Af­ter all, as he once told Piglet, “Rab­bit’s clever ... and that’s why he never un­der­stands any­thing.”

“Christo­pher Robin,” a Dis­ney re­lease, is rated Rated PG. for some ac­tion. Run­ning time: 104 min­utes. ★★½

“The Spy Who Dumped Me’’

Don’t ever ques­tion the power of a well-de­ployed Kate McKin­non. It’s been proven time and again that her spe­cific brand of kooky com­edy can el­e­vate any­thing, from the fun and loopy “Ghost­busters” re­make to the ques­tion­able bach­e­lorette-party-gone-wrong dark com­edy “Rough Night.” Wind her up, set her loose and watch her wring laughs out of any flimsy, high-con­cept premise, like the ac­tion­com­edy “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” co-writ­ten and di­rected by Su­sanna Fo­gel.

All you need to know is right there in the ti­tle, a play on the 1977 James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me,” which was sub­se­quently par­o­died with the 1999 Austin Pow­ers se­quel “The Spy Who Shagged Me.” The next log­i­cal step in this re­la­tion­ship? A breakup.

When the dash­ing but mys­te­ri­ous Drew (Justin Th­er­oux) dumps Au­drey (Mila Ku­nis) via text, she’s heart­bro­ken, and he’s too busy bat­tling Lithua­nian thugs to re­turn her calls. Her best friend, Mor­gan (McKin­non), an odd­ball ac­tress whom Drew once re­ferred to as “a lit­tle much,” tries to cheer up Au­drey with a birth­day party and the at­ten­tion of a randy Ukrainian man, but all too soon, the girls are en­snared in the rem­nants of Drew’s failed spy plot. Sur­fac­ing briefly, Drew in­structs Au­drey to de­liver a tro­phy to a cafe in Vi­enna, and soon, the women are off, glo­be­trot­ting across Europe as highly un­trained yet sur­pris­ingly skill­ful rogue op­er­a­tives.

The spy story it­self is the rote, stan­dard-is­sue spy stuff: dou­ble-crossings, hand­some MI6 agents, treach­er­ous East­ern Eu­ro­pean as­sas­sins (Ivanna Sakhno), har­ried car chases and shootouts in pic­turesque cafes, as well as a dis­tress­ing dis­re­gard for hu­man life. But the he­roes are just a pair of clue­less gals. The film seems built in part around a gag in which a sniper is in­structed to take out two dumb Amer­i­can women, but can’t dis­tin­guish who the tar­gets are while scop­ing out a pairs of fe­male tourists selfie-ing, grind­ing on an­cient stat­ues and puk­ing into a river. It’s a low­est com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor gag that ends up a cruel jab at the film’s in­tended au­di­ence.

But what pleases in “The Spy Who Dumped Me” isn’t the twists and turns of the plot, it’s what McKin­non fills into the in­ter­sti­tial mo­ments — strange asides about how her teeth are so freak­ishly strong her or­tho­don­tist pub­lished a pa­per, some in­cred­i­bly bad and pro­longed French-speak­ing jokes about how she went to theater camp with Ed­ward Snow­den. It’s McKin­non’s gen­eral clown­ery — lit­er­ally, her cli­mac­tic mo­ment in­volves a show­down on a trapeze — but it makes the light­weight ma­te­rial sing. Her char­ac­ter may be “a lit­tle much,” but that much­ness is highly nec­es­sary across from Ku­nis’s Au­drey, who is a win­some but empty ci­pher.

The dy­namic is re­flected in their CIA/MI6 coun­ter­parts, the dash­ing but bland Se­bas­tian (Sam Heughan) and the smack-talk­ing Duf­fer (Hasan Min­haj), who’s ob­sessed with his alma mater, Har­vard. It’s a silly joke that’s ren­dered in­creas­ingly hi­lar­i­ous with each de­tail and rep­e­ti­tion, a lot like Mor­gan’s elab­o­rate act­ing re­sume.

It’s the hu­mor housed in the con­nec­tive tis­sue that fills up the other­wise in­sub­stan­tial “The Spy Who Dumped Me.” Beloved char­ac­ter ac­tors pop up — Jane Cur­tain, Paul Reiser, Fred Me­lamed — but are un­der­used, and although Gil­lian An­der­son cuts a strik­ing fig­ure as an MI6 chief (“M” pre­quel, any­one?), her screen time is un­for­tu­nately scanty. So thank good­ness for McKin­non, who launches this mid­dling ma­te­rial to greater heights through her own sheer will. Now that’s a su­per­power.

“The Spy Who Dumped Me,” a Lion­s­gate re­lease, is rated R for vi­o­lence, lan­guage through­out, some crude sex­ual ma­te­rial and graphic nu­dity. Run­ning time: 116 min­utes. ★★½


The new Lion­s­gate re­lease “The Spy Who Dumped Me” stars, from left Sam Heughan, Mila Ku­nis and Kate McKin­non.

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