Sunday, 31 May 2015

#38 SPY

#38 SPY

Starring Melissa McCarthy, Rose Bryne, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney and Peter Serafinowicz.

Written and directed by Paul Figg. 120 minutes long.

This is Figg and McCarthy's third film together after Heat and Bridemaids. For my money, McCarthy is hands down one of the funniest comedians around.

McCarthy plays CIA analyst Susan Cooper whose day job, sat back at Langley is offering guidance and intel via an ear-piece to spy extra-extraordinaire, Bradley Fine, Jude Law. But when during a mission, Fine accidentally kills a criminal mastermind, who just so happened to be the only man who knows the location of a tactical nuclear device that's up for sale the race is on to find the bomb. Trouble is the only other person who might know is Rose Bryne's Raina, the dead man's foul-mouthed daughter and she knows the name and face of every active agent a knowledge she shares with Cooper by killing Fine while all she can do is watch and listen, unseen, via his ear and eye-piece. Now it's up to Susan Cooper to go into the field and find the bomb, trouble is not everybody at  the Agency is convinced she's the right woman for the job and foul-mouthed Jason Statham's Rick Ford - a one-man killing machine goes rogue to prove she isn't the man for the job.

Initially it's hard to like McCarthy's Cooper, she's so filled with self-doubt and loathing that the film's in danger of descending into a pity bath, but just as you start to find her character deeply infuriating  the film takes a glorious turn for the better when Cooper is forced to turn from a sad, frumpy, middle-aged house wife into the most glorious obscenity spewing, vicious and brutal spy with a license to kill you've ever seen. But this isn't just the McCarthy Hour, the film is crammed full of actors all enjoying themselves immensely, perhaps no more so than Statham who practically steals the show with his Rick Ford character displaying an impressive talent for exceedingly broad humour. Indeed, every one in this film deserves a mention, from Peter Serainowicz's breast-obsessed sex pest CIA Italian operative to Miranda Hart's Nancy – Susan's best friend, these are all comedians doing what they do best.

Moving at a fair old pace, the film never slows and as such avoids a saggy middle or a disappointing third act, perhaps because this isn't written by a committee or writing team, but by Figgs himself who clearly has a vision for his film, so that even the Macguffin makes sense. There are also some incredibly brutal fights and gross-out humour that had the audience howling in disgust and delight in equal measure and it doesn't skimp on the action either, this is a Spy film not as parody or homage but as a true comedy. Indeed, I haven't laughed this long or this hard at a Hollywood movie for an absolute age.

At its core, this is a film about relationships, the one between Cooper and Nancy, Cooper and Fine and Cooper and Raina, and it's that last one that's the funniest as the two women engage in a brilliant eye-for-an-eye swear-athon that had me in tears. So much fun, can't wait to see it again. If you didn't like Bridesmaid or Heat then this probably won't be for you, but then who knows, this might just win you over. It sure did me!


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