Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Spy review

At this point we know two things for certain... 1.) Director Paul Feig knows how to direct woman in some hilarious comedies.  And 2.) Melissa McCarthy is one funny lady!  Feig and McCarthy first worked together on the modern classic, Bridesmaids.  They re-teamed for The Heat, co-starring Sandra Bullock.  Spy marks their third film together.  I have mixed feelings about this movie.  Let's go!

What I liked about the film:
Feig and McCarthy
As I noted in my intro, I am a big fan of the films Feig and McCarthy have done together.  Feig knows how to direct funny ladies, and McCarthy's physical style of comedy has been a hit with fans across the globe for the past few years.  Both director and star are do a great job with this film.  Feig's use of the camera, pacing, and tone are all spot on.  He has a really good sense of timing, which is pretty much what makes a comedy successful.  You can also tell when he lets the actors, just go.  He allows improv and it really adds to the film.

McCarthy is just flat out funny.  I love how she was able to play various characters, under the disguise of multiple aliases.  She makes a big lady falling over just as funny as an f-bomb laden tirade.  McCarthy really gets to flex her softer side as well.  Her character has a friend in the film, and you get the sense that these ladies go way back and would do anything for one another.  I really loved McCarthy in this after a few of her films fell flat for me.

The Supporting Cast
It's not just the star of the show that steps up her game in this movie, so does the rest of the case.  Jason Statham plays a character so different from anything else we've ever seen him in, you can't help but laugh!  We're so used to seeing Statham as the always in control action star.  It was so fun to see him as a neurotic odd-ball spy who may just be crazy.  So good.

Jude Law plays a suave secret spy, and he does so perfectly.  Law is charming, funny, handsome and an all around stud.  He's very sincere in his portrayal of this spy, and I enjoyed every scene he was in.  Finally, there is the lovely Rose Byrne.  She plays the villain and she is wonderful in this movie!  We've seen Byrne play the 'villain' in Bridesmaids, but it was nothing compared to this.  I love how far Byrne was willing to go for her director and co-stars.  She did and said some crazy stuff in this movie, and it was all to make the movie better.  Nicely done!

What I didn't like about the film:
The Story
Unfortunately, this will go down as a cookie-cutter, save the world from a nuke being auctioned off, type of film.  We've seen it all before and there is really nothing new brought to the genre.  Coincidentally I just watched Kingsman: The Secret Service, and that movie brought a completely new spin to the spy, action-comedy genre.  Where this film, Spy, did not.  The performances were enough to keep us laughing, but the story was unoriginal and not very engaging.

Character Arcs
Outside of the McCarthy character, there is no real growth when it comes to the rest of the characters in the film.  I understand it's a comedy, but everyone is pretty much the same person at the end of the film, as they were at the beginning of the film.  If we're going to be vested in these characters, we have to see some sort of growth, or change, and that doesn't happen here.

The Verdict:
Wait for the Rental
I hate to even say that; but after having a few days to think about it, I think the movie is only worth a rental.  I loved Feig, McCarthy and company; but ultimately I go to the movies to see a compelling story, with interesting characters; and I didn't get that with this film.  I still laughed my butt off at pretty much every McCarthy and Statham did; but I would have paid a lot less to laugh my butt off at home than at the theater.  Let me know what you all thought!

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