Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Spy (2015)

Spy2015 TeaserPoster.jpg
Cupcake Necklaces are Forever

Director: Paul Feig
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, Peter Serafinowicz

Over the years, Paul Feig has proven himself to be a capable voice in female-led comedies. His fifth feature film proves to be one of his strongest, delivering a clear love for the spy genre, while providing audiences with a compelling and entertaining story.

While on a mission, Agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law) accidentally kills a target, seemingly the only person who knows the location of a bomb. The CIA come to the conclusion the deceased target may have passed the knowledge onto his daughter (Rose Byrne), who knows the identities of the CIA's top agents. Looking to escape her dull lifestyle as a deskbound agent, unassuming analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) offers to go undercover.

It's clear Feig wants to pay homage to the Spy genre, from the opening credits which resembles those of a Bond films. He puts effort into lampooning many scenes, giving typical scenes an embarrassing twist for Susan, such as a secret identity which resembles "somebody's homophobic aunt". The standout moment is the traditional "showing off the gadgets" scene, which adds levity through the embarrassing guises each gadget takes, like a pack of chloroform wipes disguised as anti-haemorrhoid wipes.

The partnership of Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy looks to continue into next years Ghostbusters reboot, which is promising, due to how perfect the actress plays the lead, under Feig's direction. When needed, McCarthy perfectly embodies the films heart, showcasing a vulnerability and a desire for more excitement in her life, which helps the audience to connect with this former teacher turned CIA Agent.

At the same time, McCarthy manages to just as easily flip into her better known traits, acting feisty and verbally abrasive to those who come in her way. In the hands of a less capable actress, this could have seemed like an out of nowhere change to the character. Instead, it acts as a repressed rage of a divorced lifestyle and unrequited love, finally let loose from this meek character who needed to do such a thing. In short, it's what'd you would expect from the star of The Heat, but played to their best.

Susan takes aim

Surprisingly, it's Jason Statham who manages to steal the show. The man is talented in many trades, including acting, diving and martial arts, and this performances makes a good argument for adding comedy to that line-up. He's at his best when parodying the gruff, hardman persona which has become synonymous with his name, even when it comes to listing impossible things he claims to have done.

Rose Byrne clearly relishes her antagonistic role, delivering her lines with a deadpan delivery and an unending number of insults, while Jude Law oozes charm as the seemingly perfect spy. British favourite Miranda Hart does good work in her sporadic appearances, while 50 Cent's needless cameo is almost justified by a humorous line near the end.

Bobby Cannavale is given the short straw, as he does little as the last minute antagonist, while Peter Serafinowicz's character is little more than a foreign sex-pest stereotype. The film also seems to wrap up a bit too neatly, hinging on one heck of a plot coincidence.

Paul Feig manages to utilize the best of his cast, particularly Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham, to deliver an accomplished entry into the spy-comedy genre. If you're not a McCarthy fan, this film probably won't do much to change your mind, but for everybody else, deposit 50 cents into the Face-Off machine and enjoy the shenanigans.

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