Susan Cooper is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner falls off the grid and another top agent is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster.
Paul Feig is certainly a director with a profile on the rise, after his box office hit Bridesmaids he continued to collaborate with Melissa McCarthy with the release of The Heat, which was then followed by a tonne of publicity regarding Ghostbusters (now in pre-production) and now we have new action comedy Spy, again reuniting Feig with McCarthy.
Feig has previously proven his worth both as director and writer, with 18 episodes of Freaks and Geeks to his writing credits, and Bridesmaids under his directing belt he’s a filmmaker to keep an eye on. With that in mind, Spy is destined to be a popular hit this season, with Feig taking his coarse comedic sensibilities and blending them into an action comedy with great effect.
Like the comedies that inspired him, Feig’s latest film is woven together with a cohesive (and somewhat outlandish) plot of mild mannered desk jockey Susan Cooper finding her way into active field duty as a CIA Agent. From there it’s refreshing to see the film taking the time and care not to simply abandon all sense in favour of comedy scene after comedy scene, instead the film continues to hang together in a way the drives the comedy/action through to its conclusion. This tends to result in a longer film than you might expect but the final result makes it worth it.
Spy also delivers strongly on the comedy side as well; Feig and McCarthy clearly work well together and deliver a good blend of physical comedy and hilarious (but often crude) dialogue that keeps the film very entertaining. It’s spaced out well throughout the solid running time with a weighting more towards verbal than physical comedy, some of the one-liners are outrageously funny and require some attention to keep up with in order to catch all the gags.
The action in the film at times serves the comedic delivery but this technique is used relatively sparingly while other portions are genuine action scenes that are effective in their own right. McCarthy certainly doesn’t hold back and Feig shows a talent for editing and choreographing both chase and fight scenes as much as any other aspect of this film.
Jason Statham delivers a stand out performance in Spy, he simply works one angle for all of this screen time but does so with such enthusiasm it never wears thin, McCarthy is familiar in her performance and comedy style but very funny, and Rose Byrne capitalises on some scenes that give her some solid material to deliver while Jude Law is all class as the suave spy.
Overall Spy is pretty ambitions but manages to be effective in its ambitions, the comedy is certainly deserving of the films MA15+ rating, but it’s hilarious and entertaining none the less. I’m giving it 7 out of 10 stars, Spy is in cinemas now.