Movie #44 2020: Spy (2015)

So I only watched this film initially because my cousin was visiting, and we fancied some light comedy on in the background while we were busy chatting over wine… and it ended up being quite entertaining!

The biggest (and most pleasant surprise) came with just how stellar the cast was. Major, major points are awarded for the use of Alison Janney, who was absolutely incredible as always in this movie. I can even stretch so far to say that even Miranda Hart was tolerable, which is not something I say lightly.

Casting aside, unfortunately I did have one problem with this. Were I not to know beforehand that this was a comedy, I’d have been very confused during the first thirty minutes of the film. For a while, it was really confusing and hard to determine whether or not this was a serious action movie… and then I saw the title character’s Beaches wristwatch and I realised that yep, this is supposed to be a comedy.

That being said, I shouldn’t have to realise that it was supposed to be funny, should I?

Despite that, unlike many comedies of this type – aka run-of-the-mill, super swiftly-produced movies – this one actually got funnier as it went on. Giving Eurovision legend Verka Serduchka and rapper 50 Cent cameos were moments of brilliance. However, it just seemed as though the backstory was too lagging and convoluted for me to really care about what the hell was going on by the time the laughs kicked in. Strangely, the best comedic performances came from Rose Byrne and Jason Statham. I say ”strangely” because these are the two performers who are the least funny on paper. Even Byrne’s appearance in Bridesmaids had her portraying the straight-laced, unbearably uppity bride, whilst co-stars Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy (again) really shone, so I have to applaud what she brought to this movie alonside Statham.

What this movie does have is a great sense of self-awareness. The kitchen fight scene was like something out of a Bond movie, if not better. The (possibly unintentional) weight of this scene came due to Spy being somewhat of a parody of such franchises; I can only categorise this as what we in England would call ”a proper piss take”. (Urban Dictionary that shit if you don’t speak Pommy).

Not gonna say this was great – I’ve pointed out many flaws. But if you want to take your mind off the current looming apocalypse for a couple of hours then this film will do just that.

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