Monday, 15 June 2015

Spy (4¾ Stars)

I was disappointed with Melissa McCarthy's last film, "Tammy", but the trailers for "Spy" looked so good that I had to go to the cinema to see it. Any reservations I had were unfounded. It was one of the funniest films I've seen for a long time. People were laughing throughout the theatre. What made "Tammy" bad was that it was just 90 minutes of jokes about a fat woman. After the first 10 minutes I stopped laughing. "Spy" has fat woman jokes as well, but it has much more. This was obvious from the very first minutes. The theme song and the opening credits were a perfect imitation of the classic James Bond films from the 1960's.

Melissa McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, an overweight CIA agent who works in an office guiding the field agents and giving them technical assistance. After an agent she has a crush on, Bradley Fine (Jude Law), is killed while looking for a stolen nuclear bomb, no other agents can be sent to continue with the mission because it's revealed that the enemy knows all of the CIA agents. Someone unknown has to be sent, and Susan volunteers. She's given instructions to simply observe the enemy and not get involved, but due to her boundless enthusiasm she gets into fist and gun fights.

Jude Law is so perfect as a James Bond type spy that I'm surprised he was never offered the role. He would be better than Daniel Craig, who isn't James-Bond-ish at all. Jason Statham must have a big sense of humour, because he's making fun of himself in the action roles he's played recently, such as the Expendables and Fast & Furious films. The film has the typical James Bond exotic locations, Paris, Rome and Budapest. It has hotels and casinos. The only thing that's missing is Melissa McCarthy walking into a hotel room and finding a naked man in a shower.

The obvious question is whether it's funnier than "Man Up", which I watched last week. I would say Yes. It's not necessarily a better film. I enjoyed "Man Up" because of its subtle mix of comedy and serious themes. That's not the case with "Spy". In "Spy" it's just humour from beginning to end, with no serious message to take home. This is a film that everyone should watch.

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