‘Spy:’ Movie Review

June 6, 2015 0 Comments

All I wanted for my birthday was for Hollywood to release a really good comedy film. That might have been asking for too much considering how low we have set the bar in terms of what is actually considered ‘funny.’ However, writer and director Paul Feig,also know for Bridesmaids (2011) and The Heat (2013), delivers immensely in his latest action comedy: Spy.

Speaking of The Heat, if you take the grittiness of McCarthy’s character from that film combined them with the awesome powers of not only Rose Byrne, but Jude Law and Jason Statham, you basically have a movie like The Expendables (2011). The only difference is you don’t need to jam pack 50 different aging action heroes just to have a reasonably enjoyable action/comedy film. Although, I’ve already admitted how much I enjoy Rose Byrne’s work, but it should already be illegal to have three of favorite Commonwealtherners (sic) in the same film.

*Note: Trailer 2 Is Much Better*

Hilarity begins to ensue within the first few seconds of the film, when Bradley Fine (Jude Law) accidentally shoots a key suspect in the head as a result from his allergic reaction to pollen (as you can see from the first part of the trailer). Unable to find out the location of the bomb and who it was sold to, the heat is on. He needs to escape without being capture, but he can’t do it without the help from his partner and CIA Analyst, Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy).

Although, it seems as thought the partnership between Fine and Cooper is going well on the surface. Fine has the glamorous life of a brilliant super spy, and I would say that Cooper has the role of a sidekick in the work relationship, but she is really more of a lacky. She’s stuck behind the desk of a vermin-ridden work area, being underpaid, and basically being Fine’s secretary/errand girl while feeling unappreciated by Fine, who is basically the love interests of the film.

The CIA discovers that the bomb is in the hands of a Bulgarian arms dealer by the name of Raya Boyanov (Rose Byrne); however things take a turn for the worse when she eliminates Fine in the field. She also managed learn the identity of all the active top agents working for the CIA, and because of this it becomes even more difficult track where she is and who she is selling the WMD to. Cooper sees this as a golden opportunity to avenge Fines death and enter the field to see some action, as it is unlikely that Raya knows about her existence.

Richard Ford (Jason Statham), another one of the CIA spies on the payroll, protest this amusing idea by resigning from the agency, but he is never too hard behind Cooper, whether it’s to mock her, belittle her or to completely screw things up with his macho behavior. The entire mission becomes a ‘track-and-report’ mission, which eventually leads to more intel regarding potential buyer, Sergio De Luca, played by Bobby Cannavale (who has appeared in my reviews far too many times — especially with Byrne). From there, it’s a race against the clock to obtain the bomb, Raya while managing to do it in the most hilarious ways possible.

“I’m a real spy.”

You would have a difficult time finding a single scene in the film that wasn’t amusing, and the only things funnier than the situations the characters put themselves in are the characters themselves. At times, their acting can be over-the-top, but it enhances the emotional atmosphere rather than distracting from it. You know this is supposed to be funny, but you’re still aware that this is supposed to be a serious action film as well.

Jason Statham has done extremely well in this film, considering that Spy is the only notable comedy he has featured in since Gnome & Juliet (2011). And it wasn’t as if only a few of his lines were funny. Probably every line he said (along with every action he made) was hysterical. I’m not really sure what films he has been watching in preparation for his role, but it has obviously paid off. Then again, he has probably been watching Will Ferrel films, because majority of his lines were so inane, you had no choice but to find them credibly amusing.

And if you need a breathier from all the gut-busting laughter Statham has provided, you can always count on Byrne to lighten the situation with short, sarcastic, insulting quips. If Statham was overblown with his crude resonance, Byrnes character would be considered the complete opposite with her relaxed, but condescending, demenoir; although she can lose her temper when the scene calls for it. She’ll do you a favor by letting you know you’re an insignificant creature.

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“It doesn’t matter what your name is. You’re the fucking help.”

Afterwards, she will soften the blow she has dealt by reminding you that she is an insufferable bitch and insult you some more. It might sound incredibly cruel, but that is all part of her charm. If Raya character isn’t busy making fun of what’s wrong with you, she’s probably down at the orphanage to make fun of the homeless children for being poor.

And the best, of course, would be the star of the film: Melissa McCarthy. Whether she is hanging at the bottom of an airborne helicopter, smashing pots across the skull of a knife wielding Femme-Fatal (Nargis Fakhri) or vomiting from being mortified of the person she just turned into a disfigured corpse, McCarthy provides no shortages of good laughs. Whether she is at her worse in the film (being utterly mocked for having Pink-Eye during a CIA meeting) or at her best (having to ditch her unattractive single woman disguise to fit into Raya’s circle), McCarty manages to pull of her challenging multidimensional character.

With the comedy-action fusion drama, you have films that try too hard to contain both elements that it’s no longer existing or amusing. Films in recent memory would include the latest MIB3 (2013) and Ride Along (2014). However, you won’t seem to have that problem with Spy. It’s hilarious, but at the same time, it’s still a legitimate action film. None of the dangerous moments are underpaid for the sake of hilarity. Feig also avoids placing scenes that needs to remind the audience that it’s still an action film by creating intensely silly moments. There is a proper balance of both, which enhance the elements of both genres.

Final Verdict: A

Definitely not the most perfect action/comedy film out there, but there is something special about it. Spy offers something that is desperately missing in a sea of irrelevance. Humor is one of these things. It is definitely the best comedy I’ve seen in the box office in a long time. If it wasn’t for this film, I think Pitch Perfect or Get Hard would be consider the best comedy film of 2015, and that is a shame.

The characters, the actors, the cinematography, with a top notch director/writer, along with a story that everyone can get behind and laugh along with provides the smartest and the funniest piece of cinema in the big screen to date. Even the opening score (theme song) was kick-ass, titled Who Can You Trust, by Ivy Levan (Here is the Link to the Song). It literally left me reminiscent of the espionage video games that I use to play, such as Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

Pretty much all of the actors and actresses have hard their mishaps in other films, such as McCarthy in Tammy (2014) and Rose Byrne in The Internship (2013), but it only shows what could be accomplished if everyone works together. Spy definitely stands out for it’s ability to keep me laughing nonstop throughout the entire film, and it definitely gets cool points for its ability to make me cry from laughter (or inducing the inability to contain Blatter). It should really be illegal for any film to do such thing, and if that is the case, Spy should be America’s Most Wanted movie.

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