28 May 2015

Spy - film review

From At The Movies, 7:50 pm on 28 May 2015

Directed by Paul Feig, starring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham and Jude Law

It’s a matter of considerable satisfaction in certain quarters that low, foul-mouthed comedy is no longer the exclusive property of male American performers.  

Where once a film like this week’s Spy might have starred Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughan, Steve Carrell or Adam Sandler, now it’s been given a sex-change and handed to Melissa McCarthy - the new face of American comedy.  

Spy is about as by-the-numbers as its title. Melissa plays Susan Cooper, a backroom control agent for the dashing Bradley Fine, played by Jude Law.  

Bradley is an idiot, and Susan is the brains of the duo, as displayed in an opening sequence involving lots of standard James Bondery.

My least favourite spy movie is one that attempts to pastiche James Bond, which is already quite pastichy already. This, needless to say, is a pastiche pastiche James Bond. Certainly if universal stupidity is a prerequisite for universal laughter, then that mission is well and truly accomplished here.

Spy is exactly what it looks like on the page. To quote the great Dylan Moran, “it’s everything I was expecting, only less…” Some weeks I may have given points for good intentions on the part of the film-makers, but not this one. All I could see were the dismal end-results.