Thursday, June 4, 2015

Spy: Movie Review


Funny as a spy spoof but does venture into spy action.
Spy is not quite a spy movie nor a spoof of the genre but somewhere in between. Sticking with the latter would have been better, but at least it is funny through-out the entire run-time. Every scene from the Bond-esque opening to the end credits has multiple laughs. Some so funny that you can't help but laugh obnoxiously, probably to the annoyance of fellow movie-goers, except that they're laughing as well. 2015

Directed by: Paul Feig

Screenplay by: Paul Feig

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, and Jason Statham

Melissa McCarthy has already established herself as a comedy star, and now she's going to be an action star. Which is of course part of the joke. There are a few gags similar to jokes from her previous movies; here, she's trying to run on top of a car, but instead runs into it and falls down. I laugh every time she falls down. It is cheap humour, but McCarthy is very talented at fusing different styles of humour and making everything funny.

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) races to stop a deadly arms dealer.
Photo credit: Larry Horricks - © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox.
All Rights Reserved. Not for sale or duplication.
McCarthy plays Susan Cooper a CIA agent who works with one of the top field agents, Bradley Fine (Jude Law), and guides him through enemy-filled landscapes. She's established to be extremely smart, dedicated, loyal and demure – in other words, the exact opposite of McCarthy's recent characters. In the CIA's next operative, her ability to blend-in sends her out into the field. She constantly tries to shed the new personas the CIA gives her and ends up being the crass loud mouth (but still smart and capable) that we've come to expect from her.

I loved the beginning. The pairing of Jude Law and Melissa McCarthy was fantastic. He's suave like James Bond but not as capable (or as observant), and she's not suave at all but completely capable. The main part of the movie sends McCarthy into the field and in the middle of multiple dangerous terrorists where we get the brand of humour as advertised. It is funny. But the movie also had a need to do close-up shots of unrealistic deaths which weren't as funny as they seemed to think it was. The action sequences were also so silly they ventured right into stupid territory. Just like an actual spy movie. However, McCarthy does get a few rants of insults directed at Rose Byrne which break up the stupidity with more comedy.

The length is somewhat noticeable with a seemingly never ending line of terrorists needing to be defeated, but the arrival of the twist brings back the comedy and the spoof nature that really elevated the film. Jason Statham's role was fairly one-note as a rogue agent who hates Susan, but he does get consistent laughs even if it's the same joke.

Now that we've got Melissa McCarthy as a comedy star, and got her started as an action star, can we get her as a romance star? The best parts of Spy were when they showed that Melissa McCarthy can be smart and competent, a super woman, spy extraordinaire, and really cemented the film with a minor story of romance. And it is funny too.

Similar Titles:

The Heat (2013) - These girls know how to bring the comedy, and the movie mostly respects that.

Identity Thief (2013) - Formulaic road trip comedy, but the actors make the jokes funny.

Bridesmaids (2011) - Apparently, women swearing really is funny to everybody.