Film Review: Spy

Written by Christine Eccelston-Craig


Desk- bound CIA analyst Susan Cooper, (Melissa McCarthy) has been playing the role of an ear-worm for Bond-like CIA agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law). But with the other agents, including the entire CIA Corporation under threat from a mysterious terrorist organisation, Cooper volunteers to go undercover to put a stop to their diabolical plan of a deadly nuclear explosion.

The plot of the film is clearly just the bed of which to lay the jokes. And believe me there are jokes all throughout this film. From character Cooper’s obsession with cheesy self-obsessed Bradley Fine right down to Rick Ford (Jason Statham) constantly exaggerating what it means to be an “extremeMelissaMcCarthy_spy agent.” It’s comedy gold! With that being said, the plot was entirely predictable. As always defeating the bad guys was inevitable and well films like these are bound to have a happy ending right? I mean we can assume the ending will be a triumphant one but even the segments which were supposed to add an element of surprise or suspense were often ruined by the foreshadowing of previous scenes. It was all just a bit too obvious.

However on a more positive note the jokes did leave the audience roaring with laughter (so I guess that alleviates the plot a little bit). The film also featured gory action scenes which left the audience I was with howling. I suppose it sounds quite disturbing to be laughing at someone’s legs being broken but believe me the way the scenes were done you’ll probably be laughing too!

With other recent action films it’s almost becoming a theme (Kingsman: Secret Service) and now Spy follows in that mould of slow-motion action scenes with booming sound-effects intermingled with Spy_3what could be described as disturbing visual content (for some of us). The lines between general violence and comedy-action are becoming less distinguishable. I wonder what the next Spy-Comedy film will entail!

“Give up on your dreams Susan, my mom used to write that in my lunchbox”

Melissa McCarthy has appeared in films such as Bridesmaids, The Back-Up Plan and even The Hangover Part 3. We cannot ignore her undeniable talent when it comes to making audiences scream with laughter. She is incredibly funny, and makes a rather good spy too. Prior to character Susan Coopers mundane desk job she was a trainee spy and acquired some of the skills needed to be full-blow agent. So what kept her behind the desk I hear you ask? Her unrequited love for Agent Fine! But as the story unfolds and new dangers come to light, Susan finally says enough is enough and plucks up the courage to take her previously learned skills and go undercover in order to track the villain. It’s been a while since I’ve seen McCarthy in an action type role and seemingly doing all these ludicrous stunts and deliberately making a fool out of herself all in the name of acting. We adore her for her bravery and unadulterated efforts to keep audiences smiling. She’s definitely one to watch.

“I once drove a car off a freeway on top of a train while I was on fire”

A character that unmistakeably stood out not only to me but to everyone who’s seen this film is British born actor Jason Statham. He is better known for his action man roles in the Transporter films and a whole raft of other action films (Expendables, Death Race) along with the recent Furious 7 film where he was a straight up villain.

The role of CIA Agent, Rick Ford in Spy sees Jason in a much more amusing role which is something I haven’t seen from Jason in a while, since Guy Ritchie’s ‘Snatch’. This character is clearly overcompensating as he feels he has to go overboard with his perception on what makes an impeccable spy. Jumping from helicopters, bringing guns to private parties (visible from his back pocket) and disguising himself as what we can perceive as a 70’s disco fanatic in an attempt to catch the villain. I think it’s safe to say Rick Ford is having some sort of mid-life crisis; he surely is insane but also one of the most enjoyably loveable characters of the entire film. Minus his potty mouth and confusion with American and British lingo, he is a ride or die character, always looking out for the team (even if his idea of team is him alone). It is refreshing to see Jason in this role it’s almost as if he set out to make a mockery of his normal on-screen self.

Director Paul Feig has directed films such as Bridesmaids, Bad Teacher and Knocked Up, so is quite commonly known for his romantic comedies. Despite this he did a pretty good job fusing comedy with the spy movie genre. Much like Director Matthew Vaughan did on the film Kingsman: Secret Service. I’d also like to add the casting for this film couldn’t be any better. The fusion of British and US actors is really becoming the standard and was pleasing to watch.

I would 100% recommend to everyone who enjoys comedy spy movies to watch this one! Of course if you have a weak heart or don’t like the sight of blood you might want to sit this one out. But for those of you who can withstand such visual content, this one’s for you.