Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Spy (2015)

Here's a story. I actually 'watched' Spy a little over a month ago. The night it came out, in fact. Why didn't I write about it? I fell asleep about 15 minutes into it and woke up with about 5 minutes left. Not really a good place to write a review, right? It wasn't Spy's fault though. Normally I don't fall asleep during films, but the moral of the story is, don't go to an 11:30 PM screening on a work night when you're already pretty tired. I'm too old for this late screening shit.

Anyway, so I finally gave it a shot again over the weekend and I'm glad I did. I've been hard on Melissa McCarthy films recently, which is deserved because Tammy sucked and Identity Thief sucked worse. I was optimistic about Spy though since this was also a Paul Feig helmed film, and I hoped that their collaboration would work similarly as it did for Bridesmaids and The Heat. Spy is a genuinely funny film.

It seems that McCarthy is best when she's adlibbing and hurling insults, but she needs someone like Feig to reign it in and refine it. Some of the best moments of the film are when she's just berating the hell out of somebody. They even played on the way she's normally used in physical comedy and made it work. Whoever McCarthy's stunt double was, she kicked ass.

Surprisingly, one of the other funniest people in Spy is Jason Statham, who plays this hyper-macho version of every character he's ever played before. At every opportunity he spews an increasingly improbable list of feats and it's hysterical (he even throws in a direct reference to Crank). The whole cast is great really. Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Miranda Hart, and especially Peter Serafinowicz.  This is the kind of film where you get the feeling that everyone got along and had a great time making the film. You can feel that in the chemistry of it all.

At it's heart, Spy is a pretty good spoof of the spy film genre, in general. It doesn't take itself too seriously, while occasionally taking jabs at some of the more ridiculous parts of spy films. There's even some good action sequences.

Spy's winding down it's theatrical run, but if you haven't seen it yet, and it's still playing near you, I highly recommend checking it out. Totally worth it.

4 (out of 5) Death Stars

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