Monday, May 18, 2015

Spy (2015)

Review #1,172






THE SCOOP
Director:  Paul Feig
Cast:  Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Jude Law
Plot:  A desk-bound CIA analyst volunteers to go undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent diabolical global disaster.

Genre:  Action / Comedy
Awards:  -
Runtime:  120min
Rating:  M18 for language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity.
Distributor:  20th Century Fox

IN RETROSPECT (Spoilers: NO)
Spy is the latest comedy gold by writer-director Paul Feig, who made Bridesmaids (2011) and The Heat (2013).  If I may describe it as so, Spy feels like The Heat meets Hot Fuzz (2007) meets James Bond.  It is a smart film, equally at ease with the rigours of a spy movie, as well as the low-level raunchiness of a vulgar Bridesmaids-esque comedy. 

Starring Melissa McCarthy in an incredible performance of pitch-perfect comic timing, badassness and physicality, the movie plays to her strengths without losing sight of the emotional connection her character Susan has for Bradley, a field agent she works with closely (as played by Jude Law).  Rose Byrne and Jason Statham round up the familiarity of the cast, with the former playing a crime suspect, and the latter an obnoxious self-proclaimed superspy with a brain the size of a melon seed.

The story sees Susan as a deskbound agent who falls in love with Bradley, but longs to be out in the field.  She inadvertently gets the chance to track down a plot involving the selling of a nuclear bomb to terrorists who want to blow up New York City. 

Poking fun at the spy movie genre and gender stereotypes, Feig's film is hilarious in generous scoops but also comically violent.  A sequence involving a fist fight with knives and pans in a kitchen between Susan and her adversary is painfully hilarious in the truest sense of the words. 

Throughout the movie, there is a certain amount of absurdity that you need to get over with in order to enjoy it.  To Feig's credit, his sharp script ensures that Spy is continuously engaging, particularly leveraging on Statham's supporting role to good effect.

While those unconvinced by spy comedies might change their minds after seeing this one, those already converted are in pole position to have a blast.  Whether there will be a sequel to Spy remains to be said, but Feig has made something that could potentially have legs, perhaps far more so than The Heat

Verdict:  Hilarious in generous scoops, writer-director Paul Feig scores another raunchy comedy gold, this time in the guise of an action spy movie.

GRADE: B+ (8/10 or 3.5 stars)






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