Spy stars Melissa McCarthy as Susan Cooper, CIA analyst-turned-agent, thrown into the field to do a job nobody else can. Shenanigans ensue.
When director Paul Feig’s last film, The Heat came out, everyone raved about how funny it was, how great it was to see a female driven comedy that was genuinely funny, and how good it was to see a woman on screen in a leading role who isn’t a size zero.
To be totally honest, I saw the trailer. I didn’t get it. I thought it looked average at best. I didn’t watch that film on the big screen and when I caught it later on TV I was genuinely glad I hadn’t made the trip to the cinema.
That being said, I was first introduced to McCarthy in the lauded Gilmore Girls and quite liked her in last year’s St. Vincent. Couple that with a supporting cast of Rose Byrne, Jason Statham and Jude Law (and the chance that The Heat was just a bad film) and I decided to go and see Spy.
It was a bad decision.
In a 120 minute running time I laughed four times. I know because I was so bored the rest of the time that I counted the laughs to amuse myself. The script was so weak that nobody was able to save it; but judging by the performances, I got the distinct impression that nobody actually tried.
I could say that Jude Law was the best thing about this film, but that would be based on the fact that he wasn’t actually in it all that much, so I didn’t have as strong a reason to dislike him. Jason Statham’s character is funny for about ten seconds, but that same ten seconds is rehashed over and over again throughout the movie. Rose Byrne is distinctly bland and the less said about Miranda Hart’s sidekick the better.
There’s only so much McCarthy can be expected to do.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not setting the bar too high. I wasn’t expecting Oscars, I was just expecting something funny to tide me over for two hours.
I saw Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 2012’s 21 Jump Street expecting the same level of alright and was pleasantly surprised. Enough that I happily went back for the sequel. Something that definitely won’t be repeated with Spy.
All this being said, there were a few laughs from the people around me:
Haha the overweight person fell over!
Haha the overweight person can’t run quickly!
So I suppose as long as people are willing to cast overweight women, and have audiences laugh at them instead of with them, all the while calling it empowerment; there’ll be a market for this kind of drivel.
Considering Paul Feig was the writer-director on both this and next year’s Ghostbusters, expectations are depressingly low for the reboot of a film that was surely good enough to just be left alone.
I don’t know what your taste in movies are, I don’t know what your taste in comedy is, but if you have any taste at all, don’t see this film.
Spy is in cinemas June 5th, with advance previews now.