Spy see’s Melissa McCarthy star as Susan Cooper, a CIA agent moving from the safety of a desk job to the excitement of the field.
Bursting onto the scene with Bridesmaids back in 2011, Paul Feig has since started to gain some grounding in comedy. As the writer and director of 2013’s ‘The Heat’ and rumoured to take the chair for the scheduled Ghostbusters sequel/reboot, it should be safe to assume that he is a pretty funny guy. With all this in mind it comes as a surprise that his latest outing ‘Spy’ wasnt as funny as I was expecting and left me feeling like they needed a little bit more.
Influenced by spy movies past a present, Feig does a satisfactory job emulating the plot line of some of our favourite espionage thrillers. Treading on interesting ground, Spy doesnt as much spoof the genre, such as Spy hard, but rather recategorizes it under the ‘comedy’ banner. The film itself is quite well balanced giving us some really funny moments (Rose Byrne surprisingly having the better lines of the film) whilst maintaining an interesting story. Each character is well written, refraining from the typical slapstick that we have come to expect from these types of film and opting to ground and give reason to them instead. Annoyingly however, this mismatch of genres did grate a little after a while. Its frequent umps between serious story arc to comedy set pieces did get confusing at times and as a consequence made the laughs a little less frequent than I would have hoped.
As a director, Feig has relied heavily in the past on his cast, and this is no exception. Turning again to Melissa McCarthy for the lead role, it once again works in his favour as some scenes only really come to life when McCarthy is on screen. With a fairly decent (if not slighty weak performance) from his supporting cast, Jude Law, Rose Byrne and Jason Statham do a satisfactory job at filing the gaps when McCarthy isnt on screen.
If I have one criticism however, its with his style. Feig has had some success within the genre now and the man knows how to make people laugh. I just worry that he might be on the cusp of repetition. With the same jokes, arcs and ‘envelope’ pushing humour beginning to rear its head in many of his films, it could spell doom for highly anticipated projects such as Ghostbusters due to all his cards being played at once and nothing else to show. This repetition does not effect this film oer se, but it does leave us questioning what roads are left to be walked.
Overall, Spy brings together a recognizable script, satisfactory performances and an array of jokes to create a funny film. With my only fear being the ever bearing rumbling of repetition for future projects, its not one I would say no to. Spy receives a cheeky 3 out of 5!