Spy – Should I Watch It?

Intro to… Spy
As the title not so subtly gives away, Spy is the latest movie that finds itself in the secretive world of espionage. After Kingsman: The Secret Service, it is the second major spy movie that has hit theatres this year. That’s where all similarities stop.

The Plot
Spy introduces us to Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy), a successful CIA Analyst that delivers real-time support to field agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law), the traditional cocksure suit-wearing superspy.

Susan, previously trained to be a spy herself, has been swooning over Bradley ever since the day they met and opted to become an analyst so they could work together as a team. But when Bradley gets shot by arms dealer Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) and intelligence on all active agents gets leaked, it is up to Susan to enter the field herself.

Should I Watch It?
Spy is a fast-paced film filled with many action/comedy scenes that allows the plot to move forward at a steady rate. The story brings us to many different and interesting locations, which spurs you to keep attention.

The problem is that Spy really depends on these outside influences to retain interest. The story is a dime in a dozen. In most of these type of films the writer/director throws in a curveball to at least try and make it somewhat unique, but Spy just goes from A to B to C without any clever plot devices.

This would not really be a problem as long as the comedy is top notch. But it isn’t. There is a lot of yelling and clumsiness, but not a lot of humour. Remarkably, it is Jason Statham’s character Rick Ford that brings in the laughs. His intensity and dialogue is superb and it is sad that his character does not shine more throughout the story.

The action scenes, however, are from the other end of the spectrum. Especially in the beginning and near the end of the movie there are some very strong fight scenes. We get to see Susan kick some serious butt.

Talking about Susan, around the middle point she suddenly changes from a mumbling self-doubting but friendly and caring woman into a loud-mouthed lout. This is supposed to show her finding her confidence and personal growth, which in turn empowers her and gives her the strength to step up. Her transformation into a stronger woman was both obvious and necessary, but the execution thereof is disappointing. Her self-confidence changes her from sweet and restrained into boorish and violent. I would have rather seen her evolve into a stronger and better version of herself.

Director Paul Feig wrote, developed, and directed Spy because he knew that no one would ever allow him to direct a real James Bond film. I command him on his attempt and I have a lot of respect for him for pursuing his own vision; I just wished the final result were better.

No, don’t watch it.

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5 responses to “Spy – Should I Watch It?”

  1. jeroenadmiraal2015 says :

    I think it all depends on whether you like Melissa McCarthy’s humor. Both the insecure and the ass-kicking personalities were deliberate exaggerations for comedic effect. If the effect was funny to you, then the development of the character is not that important anymore, because good character development wasn’t really the goal anyway…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ressivocmer says :

    I agree. Comedy is a very personal subject. Some people will be crying tears of laughter, others will be crying tears of regret for buying a ticket. The reviews on Spy that I’ve read are very diverse. Enjoying a comedy always comes down to one simple question: does it make me laugh? And for me it just didn’t.

    Like

  3. whitewallsandwanderlust says :

    Great review! I really like Melissa McCarthy but I wasn’t sure how I felt about seeing this movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. theaspiringfilmcritic says :

    Nice review! It’s great to read someone else’s perspective. Fancy checking out what I thought of the film? Feedback would be great! Thanks! https://theaspiringfilmcritic.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/spy-2015-%E2%98%85%E2%98%85%E2%98%85%E2%98%85%E2%98%86/

    Like

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