Why shouldn’t James Bond be played by Melissa McCarthy? Walking out of Spy, the latest film from Paul Feig – of Bridesmaids and The Heat – I couldn’t think of a convincing reason why not.
The film is an uneven but enjoyable comedy. After a flabby opening act – weighed down both by an insistence of emphasising how much of a sad loser McCarthy’s character is and an inability to balance improvisational comedy within a rigid narrative structure – the film comes into its own, allowing McCarthy’s comic talents to shine when bouncing off the deadpan talents of both Rose Byrne and Jason Statham (a vastly underrated comedic actor himself). The laughs come as much from the premise – insecure CIA desk-jockey becomes super-spy – as the simple pleasure of watching these three spit absurdly profane insults at one another.
Feig surprisingly does better work with the action elements of the film than the comedy; the fight scenes snap – seriously, this is as much an action movie as a comedy – but he too often seems unaware of when to end a scene, swallowing up the best jokes with awkward timing. Thankfully, it’s hard to go too wrong with capable performers on the screen. Worth a watch.
7 thoughts on “Spy (2015)”
This wouldn’t have got a second look from me before reading this, but I might check it out now seeing as you liked it so much.
Definitely do! It’s no masterpiece, but it’s a cut above a lot of the recent batch of Hollywood comedies.
I’m really excited about this one, and your review makes it sound very promising.
Just don’t be too disappointed by the clumsy opening – it gets better!
This doesn’t look good, BUT the advance buzz (and your review) are very positive. I am now keeping an open mind.
It’s worth noting that the weakest part of the film – the opening half hour or so – is also what all the trailers focus on. It sells the film really poorly but it makes the film itself a much more enjoyable experience than you’d expect!
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