Movie Review: SPY
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Miranda Hart, Peter Serafinowicz
Rated R for language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity, 120 minutes, Action/Comedy
Compare to: Austin Powers (1997), Get Smart (2008)
Oh Melissa McCarthy, how do people love thee, let me count the ways. The number would be low for me but I can think of several people off the top of my head who eat up anything she does, no matter what the quality of the actual film is.
And while this is meant to be a review of Spy and not McCarthy herself, working with director Paul Feig for a third time (Bridesmaids, The Heat), you should have an idea of what to expect from this. I guess I’m saying if you’re a fan of those, there’s not really a reason to read any of this because you already know what you think of the movie.
Susan Cooper is a likable person, if not a bit of a pushover. Her job as a desk clerk for the CIA is exciting enough giving Super-spy Bradley Fine all the inside information he needs to get his job done…but it’s not fulfilling enough. But when unexpected events occur, Susan is forced to take on the role of a field agent herself; a role she’d die to play and it might just happen.
I didn’t do a good job of making that sound like a comedy but you get the picture. Melissa McCarthy is awkward and then she becomes a spy and it’s meant to be funny how crazy things get when she’s put to the test. Tough to say what I think about this movie. Jason Statham’s role as a fellow spy that keeps asserting McCarthy’s character Susan is going to “f*** everything up” is pretty funny…since his overly macho ways keep making him the butt of every joke when he keeps screwing everything up. His character seemed like a parody of the more masculine side to spy films and I thought he was the best part of the movie.
I was in an auditorium with people who seemed to really love it. There wasn’t really a moment I remember where a joke or gag was performed and fell completely flat. This is surely a compliment to the film, I guess I’m just saying it wasn’t my kind of comedy. And I don’t know how I would describe what I like in a comedy movie but this wasn’t exactly it. I guess it’s predictable in a thematic way; you know Susan is going to be a spy and the direction that characters are going. But being that it’s more about the comedy, the unpredictability isn’t as big a deal as the laughs are, right?
Even so, the story has to be streamlined enough that the focus becomes more on the dynamics of the characters and with all that being said, the “Judd Apatow” -style of characters dragging out awkward conversations has reached it’s peak for me. McCarthy is the master of stating things her characters should be embarrassed about but isn’t, and then will do a 180-degree turn at some point in the film to slap some people around and show them who’s boss. It’s a formula fans like and I don’t blame them, but once again, it’s just not my thing.
I think people are going to like this one though. For any issues I have with it, the audience I watched it with ate it up and I’m not void of understanding why. McCarthy’s older, less vapid and more direct approach to comedy is something that can- I’m gonna stop right here. Your girlfriend will like this movie and you will like parts of it. I don’t know if I’ll be reviewing any more comedies on here. The genre itself is entirely subjective to what the individual viewer finds funny.
Positives: Doesn’t bore you, everybody’s comfortable in their roles, Jason Statham plays a tough guy idiot very well.
Negatives: Not my thing