I'll be honest, I thought the trailers for Spy looked horrible. I'm not sure if there was a red band trailer for it, if there was I didn't see it. Truthfully after watching the other trailers, I wouldn't have looked for the red band trailer. Maybe I should have, because Spy was hilarious. I decided to go see Spy, because the rotten tomatoes score is at 95% and Jeremy Jahns gave it such a favorable review. It did not disappoint. I guess I should have had more faith in the director of Bridesmaids.
Melissa McCarthy is fantastic in the movie. I know many of her movies recently have been hit or miss, but as the leading star of the movie she carries it with no problem. I think the most surprising thing about the movie is her character, Susan Cooper, development. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but she goes from working behind a desk helping spies do their jobs by giving them intel, to being thrown in the field. She slowly gains confidence as the movie progresses, until she is a true bad ass at the end. You would think this progression would be unbelievable. This is not the case do to some clever background information given to us during the course of the story. It might not be plausible that she can be a ball buster, but they make it stand up.
The action is extremely good for a comedy movie. I would classify the movie as a hybrid action movie. It was intense at times, and shot really well. Paul Feig proved he can direct more than comedy in this movie. We know he can direct a comedy from Bridesmaids, and the many other TV shows he has directed. He hits another home run with Spy. The movie really shines in its banter. McCarthy character has some epic insults. Many others do as well, Rose Byrne plays a great comedic villain and rips into people beautifully. Comedy also comes from strange places in the movie. Jason Statham shows his comedic chops, and does a marvelous job. He plays a spy, but he is more of the bungler instead of McCarthy. He has some great monologues about his prowess as a spy that had me in stiches.
I think one of the most surprising aspects of the movie is the story. It has a good spy plot, and a great twist I did not see coming. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but the story keeps you engaged. I think this is where most comedies go off the rails. They don't have a well-established story or characters. Spy has this and it makes for a great two hour ride. There are a few spots where it the gags don't go off. When McCarthy becomes the bumbling spy is where the jokes don't hit home. They build her up to be a great Spy, but then have a few instances where she turns into Paul Blart Mall cop (my brother's comparison). I get it, but I think they movie would have been better served to have Statham character have these gags. It is a small nitpick, for an otherwise very funny movie.
I went into Spy with fairly high expectations since it had been getting good reviews. It lived up to those expectations. I think it is a movie which will steadily gain steam until mostly everyone has seen it. Word of mouth should drive the movie, almost the same way Bridesmaids did. I think many people will be hesitant of the movie because of the recent string of bad McCarthy movies. Hopefully this puts her on a better path, and she can pick and choose better movies in the future. Go see Spy, buy Spy when it comes out on Blu-Ray.
My Rating: Must Buy
My top 5 favorite Spy Comedies
- Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me
- Mr. and Mrs. Smith (not sure if this is really a comedy, but I laughed through most of it)
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
- If Looks could kill (Guilty pleasure, and special thanks to my Brother for reminding me of what a great movie this is)