Friday, October 09, 2015

Movie review - "Spy" (2015) ****1/2

Brilliantly constructed star vehicle for Melissa McCarthy which has a strong, high concept that is superbly executed. It's basically Miss Moneypenny becomes a spy after her James Bond (Jude Law) is killed with Alison Janney as M, Jason Statham as the fellow agent, Rose Byrne as the femme fetale and Tommy Cannavale as Goldfinger plus Miranda Hart as McCarthy's sidekick.

On a plain old spy movie level this is is pretty good anyway - something crucial for a spoof movie, it should work as drama even without the gags (eg Flying High vs Top Secret). There's good stakes, strong villains and a healthy amount of double crosses, plus some very well shot action sequences. At times this is genuinely exciting and moving as well as funny.

Expectations are subverted - McCarthy has a violent streak, Statham is a moron meat head, Byrne isn't as smart as she thinks her is. I loved the modern office touches to the CIA - Janney rebuking Statham for his language, the cake delivered at work when McCarthy is trying to help Law through a fight, the whingeing about secret identities assigned to agents. It's a superb comedy.

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