When I saw the trailer for this movie, it became a definite on my ‘To Watch’ list and I was really excited to finally go after all of my school exams were out of the way. I finally went on Wednesday and it was a lot of fun but would I choose it over its predecessors, Bridesmaids and The Heat? Probably not.
Spy follows the story of the CIA agent, Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy), who only really follows the action from behind a computer screen in her rat infested office. She is a character who has become very comfortable as she enjoys her job guiding her partner, Agent Fine (Jude Law), around his dangerous missions. It eventually becomes evident to her boss, Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney – a very fun little addition to the movie), that Cooper is very capable of performing physical duties out in the field. The plot unfolds and Agent Susan Cooper finds herself in an action-packed dispute over a nuke that continues to deepen, whilst she also tries to protect the right people. The very Bondesque opening track called Who Can You Trust?, sung by Ivy Levan, sets up that this movie is ultimately going to be poking fun at those big crime-solving movies we’re all aware of. The plot, if not complicated, is very loose, however I very much doubt that viewers are watching this movie for its ‘intense’ storyline, but instead are keen to see this group of well-known, respectable actors all come together for one reason only – to make us laugh.
The cast is really what makes this movie appealing to audiences and it is evident that the film makers are aware of this, which makes it completely acceptable to admit that if different actors were used, the movie would be pretty slow and dull. I would say that, although it took a while for the film to get underway and really start earning some big laughs, for the majority of the film, these actors do not disappoint. Melissa McCarthy has made a name for herself playing very extreme and confident female characters. Some people have been complaining about this archetype that McCarthy has fallen into as she has previously played similar characters in films like Bridesmaids and The Heat (which, including Spy, all have Paul Feig in common as writer-director), as well as other successful films like Identity Thief and Tammy. However I would argue that this is what the actress does so well and it’s what we all love to watch her do, so maybe in the future she’ll venture out to alternative roles, but at the for the moment I’m more than happy to presented with more of her foul-mouthed, often ad lipped and always hilarious women.
Another actor that I wasn’t expecting to enjoy as much as I did was Jason Statham. Admittedly I didn’t know much about this actor before Spy but I knew his career centred on action movies and, therefore, I had him down as the tough guy amongst the light hearted intentions of the comedy. But I was wrong! His character, Rick Ford, is an agent who gets suspended from his position at the beginning of the film, but nonetheless is very enthusiastic and overly keen to be involved in Agent Cooper’s new case. He ultimately ends up ruining everybody’s plans with bad timing and arrogance, several times, but never once losing his cockiness which definitely wins the audience over by the end of the movie with his less than convincing anecdotes; “I drove a car off a freeway on top of a train while it was on fire. Not the car. I was on fire”.
Two more actors that do need mentioning are Peter Serafinowicz and Miranda Hart. Serafinowicz plays the Italian agent, Aldo, who is more than appropriately hands on, constantly seizing any opportunity to grab Cooper’s bosoms or to stick his tongue down her throat. Each scene becomes more extreme and each time it’s funny to see Cooper’s distaste as she tries to continue on her mission. All is well and good as the movie continues and they form an unexpected, whilst sometimes unsettling, friendship. The character of Nancy, Cooper’s best friend back behind the desks of active CIA agents, was specifically written for the British actress, Miranda Hart. I was excited to see how she would fit into a big Hollywood movie like this and whether she would see slightly out of place, but I was impressed. Her character was obviously a little like her awkward but hilarious sitcom personality, Miranda, but the actress had clear chemistry with on-screen best friend McCarthy so all-in-all it was pleasant to see her developing her career onto the big screen and it will be interesting to see if she does any more work on this scale in the future.
Overall, the film was good for some laughs with my friends and it was a good way to say goodbye to all my exams. But I probably wouldn’t repeatedly watch it like I would with some of McCathy’s other movies.
Here is the trailer so you can check it out yourself, I’d love to hear any other opinions on this movie: