|Jason Statham, Melissa McCarthy, and director Paul Feig, answer questions for the film, Spy|
Paul Feig is as multi-talented as one can get in the entertainment business. He's been acting in movies since the 80's (Zombie High being his first). He co-created and directed the cult classic television series, Freaks and Geeks. He directed the hilarious films, Bridesmaids and The Heat. And now, he's added screenwriter and producer to his repertoire with his newest film, Spy. Add the fact that he's also written at least four books and, you can see just why he's such a hot commodity right now. Hell, he's even doing the Ghostbusters reboot. His go-to gal with all of his recent films, has been Melissa McCarthy. How well they work together, is even more apparent when you see her in a film that's not directed by Feig (Identity Thief, Tammy). McCarthy's always good but, Feig inspires that special quality that makes his comedies stand out above many others.
Spy, is another example of Feig's ability to bring the best out in McCarthy. Instead of her having to carry an entire film by herself, Feig backs her play by adding a group of experienced supporting actors to help with the load. We never have to worry if she's going to be funny during every scene because, if she's not, someone else will definitely be there to keep us laughing. Whether it's from Jude Law's (Road to Perdition) douchebag charm, Allison Janney's (Juno) dry condescension, popular
British actress Miranda Hart's goofy innocence, Jason Statham's (Snatch) bumbling badass, Rose Byrne's (Neighbors) sophisticated sarcasm or, Peter Serafinowicz's (Shaun of the Dead) playful libido, this movie has plenty of colorful characters to keep it hilarious. Everyone is so good, that I find it hard to pick a favorite. But you know what, I don't need to (Serafinowicz wins!). McCarthy is fairly reserved for the first half, with a naive reaction to all that's going on around her when, all of a sudden, about half way through, she opens the flood gates on her perfectly timed sailor's mouth and leaves all lying in her wake. It seems almost as if Feig wanted everybody else to establish themselves before McCarthy kicked in the afterburners. When she's able to let loose, she reminds me of Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop; Always in control of the room and you're going to hear what she has to say.
The story itself is nothing new nor special. We've pretty much seen this before. But when you have so many people having so much fun together, the overall lack of originality falls by the wayside. Even the action is interlaced with humor. For every perfectly landed punch, there's a funny remark or sight gag to accompany it. McCarthy is spry for being a big lady and, she gives better than she gets. Watching her character gain her confidence as the film progresses is fun. The kitchen fight and the airplane scenes are a highlight. The props themselves are hilarious and would make any cat lady proud (inside joke). The location filming in Budapest is attractive and properly substitutes for many of the film's other settings.
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, of Spy
The Good- Never sneeze when your finger is on the trigger, next time let the evil bitch drink the tainted martini, and never throw food at a pissed off fat woman in a tight dress. Is Serafinowicz's character so horny that he just forgot his true identity? The guy that McCarthy berates until he cries, is the same actor that got berated for his mustache in the Kung Fury short film (Bjorn Gustafsson).
The Bad- Michael McDonald (Mad TV) plays this film's version of Q (The dude from those movies based on books by some English guy named Fleming) for only one scene. 50 Cent's cameo is a complete waste of time except for his line about Kanye.
The Ugly- If someone the size of Melissa Mccarthy can learn the Filipino martial art of Kali for a role, then I have even less excuses to not get on a treadmill.
Final Thoughts on Spy
Spy is another funny comedy from Feig and McCarthy that delivers much more than it doesn't. I still think that Kingsman: The Secret Service is a better all around spy film from this year but, you can't go wrong with this one either. See in theaters and stay after the credits for a another humorous moment. These two are three for three together but, if they f*** up the new Ghostbusters film, none of this will matter at all (to me and the other geeks, of course).
Rating- 7.5 out of 10
Rating- 7.5 out of 10
Running Time- 120 Minutes
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