FlixChatter Review: SPY (2015)

SPY2015poster

I have a confession to make. I haven’t seen Bridesmaids nor any of Melissa McCarthy’s R-rated comedies The Heat, Identity Thief, and Tammy. I’m not exactly fond of raunchy comedies with all the foul language and gross situations that I don’t find the least bit funny. But somehow when I saw the trailer for SPY, I was laughing so hard I actually watched it several times before the screening. I guess I love the spy action genre, and the casting of Jason Statham and Jude Law didn’t hurt either. Once the movie starts though, it’s clear that it’s McCarthy who’s the STAR of the show, she’s effortlessly hysterical and here she’s instantly likable. I was rooting for her character Susan Cooper right from the start, when she’s merely a desk-bound CIA analyst who’s desperately in love with a handsome spy (Jude Law).

SPY_Melissa_Jude

The story itself is pretty basic. When an operation goes bust, Cooper ends up volunteering to be a field agent and of course, hilarity ensues as she goes undercover to infiltrate the dangerous world of a deadly arms dealer. Just like any Bond or Bond-like movie, of course her mission is to prevent a psychopath villain from getting their hands on a nuclear weapon and save the world. But the plot hardly matters in a movie like this, so long as they keep the comedic moments coming and thankfully they did! Perhaps the fact that I’m not all that familiar with Paul Feig‘s brand of comedy works in my favor as at least it felt fresh to me.

SPY_Melissa_Miranda

McCarthy herself is such a hoot here, she delivers the laugh from start to finish. It helps to see her paired with someone equally hilarious. Not sure why English comedienne Miranda Hart looks familiar to me as I’ve never seen her before, but I hope she’d get her own movie in the future. She’s simply hysterical and they have such a fun rapport together. If they ever do a movie or TV show with Melissa & Miranda together, I’d so watch it!

As a big 007 fan, of course I love all the Bond references, down to the moment when they go to the Q-branch to get her spy gadgets. The movie’s villainess comes in the form of gorgeous Rose Byrne. I’ve only seen her in a couple of non-comedic roles but she definitely has genuine comic timing. I remember McCarthy said in one of her interviews that Rose’s hair is basically a character in itself and it sure is! Her character is deliberately over the top but she also has some of the funniest bits in the movie “It’s the Bulgarian clown in you.” Ha!

SPY_Melissa_RoseByrne

The casting of Jason Statham may seem odd but he got his start in an Guy Ritchie’s action comedy (Lock, Stock Two Smoking Barrels & Snatch) so he’s actually quite a natural here. Of course it’s a hoot seeing him poking fun at himself and a bunch of preposterous action scenes he’s been in. The bit where he’s bragging about surviving all kinds of ridiculous calamity is pure comedic gold! Allison Janney with her deadpan expression is pretty funny too as the no-nonsense CIA boss.

SPY_Melissa_Jason

Now, I’ve mentioned that I’m not fond of raunchy, foul-mouthed comedies and so of course there are scenes here I don’t care for. Seriously, those selfies of male genitalia is imbecile, gross and utterly unnecessary. I really don’t think it adds anything to make the movie funnier, and neither are the excessive f-bombs though sadly most people have become desensitized to such things these days. I’m also not that impressed by Bobby Cannavale (Byrne’s real life boyfriend) as this suave but deadly arms dealer. His character is too much of a caricature, so I guess I have more of an issue about how he’s written. Byrne’s character is definitely far more memorable and more fun to watch.

Despite those quibbles, I had fun with this one and I might even rent this later.I might also give The Heat a watch as it also has Sandra Bullock who’s always fun to watch. This movie made me like Melissa McCarthy and I think it’s great that her movies are box office hits! It’s about time we see guys like Statham and Law playing second and third bananas to her, and that we see more and more female-centric movies in general.

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Have you seen SPY? Well, what did YOU think?

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37 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: SPY (2015)

  1. You make a lot of interesting points. Does look some inspired casting. Miranda Hart had her own sitcom. It wasn’t the slightest bit cool, but it was very funny. I saw McCarthy in her sitcom and glad to see her getting good roles on the big screen (no pun intended). never been a fan of genitalia jokes either.

    1. I just realized Miranda has her own sitcoms in the UK, I’d have to see if I can watch those. I really wish they could make a funny comedy WITHOUT all the foul & vulgarity. Even What We Do in The Shadows is hilarious without too much F-bombs and nary a genitalia joke in sight!

  2. Nice review Ruth. This is one of those I have absolutely no desire to see. I really like Statham and Law but McCarthy literal drives me up to wall. I really dislike her brand of comedy so I’ll probably skip this one.

    1. Fair enough. I never liked raunchy comedies, that’s why I never watched any of her stuff, including Bridesmaid. I do like this spy genre so I still laughed a lot and I actually find Melissa quite hilarious here.

  3. I’ve heard a lot of people finding this funny; the cast draws me in. Don’t care one way or the other about McCarthy. I’ll probably wait and rent it. Nice review, Ruth 🙂

    1. Hi Cindy! It’s totally fine waiting for rental for this. I’m just glad we have a funny woman like McCarthy in the lead & the pretty boys playing second/third banana! It’s got your dahling Jude Law here too 🙂

  4. You have a way with words Ruth!

    I wasn’t going to bother with this, but reading this and agreeing with your opening sentiments, I now am actually interested in this. Weds are 10$ tix days, I might give it a chance just for the hell of it! Its either than or Entourage!

    1. Thanks Jordan! I think it’s worth a watch, I mean it’s not as great as What We Do in the Shadows obviously but it has some genuinely funny moments. I heard Entourage isn’t that great.

  5. I’m surprised how well this film was received by a lot of people, not sure if I’ll see it, maybe when it hits Netflix I’ll give it a watch. After seeing McCarthy’s last couple couple of movies, I’m not a fan of hers. Just a warning though, The Heat was not very good, I found McCarthy’s character very annoying.

    1. Y’know I’m surprised too, but I think people generally like action comedies. Maybe the fact that I haven’t seen her in practically anything makes me enjoy it more.

  6. I think I might see this as I do like Melissa McCarthy but didn’t like Tammy nor Identity Thief which doesn’t use her talent to the fullest. Plus, I want to see Jason Statham be funny.

    1. I have no desire to see Tammy nor Identity Thief but I had fun w/ this one so hope you do too. The Stath is quite hilarious here.

  7. I’ve read a couple of reviews on Spy so far, including yours, and I’m pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction. I haven’t seen the trailers or anything, just the posters which looked generic. The only movie I’ve seen McCarthy in is Bridesmaids and it’s a really good movie. I’ll keep an eye open for Spy when it’s out on video.

    1. Hi Eddie! Oh I think the poster is pretty awful too. I don’t know why but Bridesmaids doesn’t appeal to me at all. I do love the spy genre and I think that’s partly why I enjoyed this.

  8. I had to read your review, because my curiosity increased when I noticed this film had an R rating, and the potential to be really funny. I’ll have to check it out!

    1. Hi Courtney! The R-rating was a big worry to me, and sure enough there are some vulgar scenes I wish weren’t included. But apart from that the jokes were pretty funny to me.

  9. Good review. Funny, but also pretty smart in terms of the characters and the way in how they’re written. Which makes it a step above most comedies out there.

    1. Hi Dan! I don’t consider this the greatest comedies out there (it’d have to be What We Do in the Shadows), but yeah there are some funny bits to be sure.

  10. abbiosbiston

    I thought Spy was silly but very funny and Melissa McCarthy was so funny. In my mind this was much better than The Heat but not quite as good as Bridesmaids.

  11. I definitely don’t care for gross-out comedy, and so I had a few quibbles with Bridesmaids but on the whole really really enjoyed it. The Heat was just okay. The rest were fairly terrible. Glad to see her back on point.

    1. I bet there are even more vulgarity in Bridesmaids. Didn’t they say it’s like Hangover but w/ a female cast? This one is pretty funny to me, but then again comedy is so subjective, so what I find funny might not be the same as others.

    1. Hi Nostra! Y’know I didn’t think I like her either but she’s actually very funny here, who knows this movie might change your mind about her.

  12. Great review! I loved this one. So funny and I think it might even the best I’ve seen from 2015 so far. The cast was superb, especially McCarthy and Byrne (who was also one of the best things about Bridesmaids; love her there). I agree, though. That “dick pic” scene was a low point, unnecessary, unfunny and too long (no pun intended).

    1. Hi Fernando, sorry I missed your comment somehow! Yeah I wish American comedies can stay away from all the vulgarity. Honestly it does NOT anything to the movie, it’s not funny or amusing in the least bit! But yeah, I love McCarthy here, and the supporting cast are pretty great for the most part!

  13. So glad you liked it! I’m a huge fun of raunchy comedies if they are funny – I love Seth Rogen and McCarthy’s movies. The Heat and Bridesmaids, I saw so many times I lost track and what’s great about films with McCarthy is all that that girl power. Spy is my favorite and a big part of it is Jason – him doing comedy again was one of my biggest cinematic wishes and I hope he does more of those in the future

    1. Hi Sati! I was laughing so hard at the trailer that I had to see it! Fortunately the movie is hilarious too. I love McCarthy and Statham combo, boy they should do more comedies together, what an unlikely but brilliant combo!! Yes Stath should do more comedic roles, he’s definitely got comic timing.

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