The cinema has seen it’s fair share of espionage superstars: James Bond. Jason Bourne, and of course, Dick Steele. Wait! Hold up! Who’s Dick Steele, you ask? Dick Steele, my friends, is Leslie Nielsen’s character in Spy Hard. He may not be the greatest undercover agent, but he’s one in a long line of Secretly Dumb Agents hard not to love. We’ve taken the time to run these clueless spies through our Nielsen Ratings System, with five Nielsens being the most clueless; zero being, well, James Bond.
Austin Powers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
For a spy who just wants to shag, Austin Powers (Mike Myers) is surprisingly effective. It’s only when he gets flung into the future that he ends up as a man without a clue. At the end of the day, he relies on his mojo too much and the evidence too little. Still, he gets the job done. Ridiculous? Sure. Clueless? Only a tiny bit.
Wallace Ritchie in The Man Who Knew Too Little
When Bill Murray’s Wallace Ritchie flies to England to celebrate his brother’s birthday, he’s mistaken for a hit man embroiled in an assassination plot. But he thinks it’s all part of a “Theater of Life” performance and gamely plays along. He’s not the brightest bulb, but he’s at least not too dim to know how an international spy should act.
Maxwell Smart in Get Smart
Now, this is a little bit conjectural since Maxwell Smart is best known as an old TV show, and the new movie here hasn’t come out. Let’s work off what we know: He’s an idiot of epic proportions; he’s played by Steve Carell, who excels at playing idiots; and based on the trailer, not much has changed since the days of Don Adams. Ergo, he’s pretty clueless.
Johnny English in Johnny English
Half Austin Powers, half Mr. Bean (which makes sense), Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) manages to start the day as an intelligence worker, and ends up accidentally killing every single spy in Britain. That being said, once English is on the job, he does manage to unravel a crime. Unfortunately, no one believes him. He ends up proving himself correct, but again, only accidentally. So it’s a bit of a toss-up.
Dick Steele in Spy Hard
Come on, if you thought that Leslie Nielsen’s Dick Steele wasn’t the most clueless spy in film history, then clearly you must be as clueless as he is. The goofiest spy ever, Nielsen never has an idea of what’s happening at any point in the movie, and that’s just the way we like him.