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Movie Breakdown: Spy

June 3, 2015

Film

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Paul Feig’s latest comedy turns Melissa McCarthy into an unlikely CIA spy.

The Reality:

I’ll give it up to Paul Feig, instead of trying to go with just one of Melissa McCarthy’s styles – normal (St. Vincent) or loud (Tammy, Identity Thief) – he went with both.  Does that make Spy a good movie?  Sort of.  It’s definitely not bad, more just decidedly average.  The film has some bits that totally work – Jason Statham’s insane rogue agent character, a running joke about the CIA being full of literal vermin, an actual “dirty” agent who is always saying/doing perverted things – and it does fully allow McCarthy free range to do as she pleases, but there are a lot of flat moments that had me wondering where we were in the runtime.  Also, the twist is so telegraphed that it hurt my soul.  I know the general point is to watch McCarthy and the gang spoof spy movies so an elaborate plot just isn’t needed, but Feig doesn’t even try to hide what’s going on.  If you ask me, a good reveal would have made some of the parts in the film that don’t work feel kind of justified.

All in all Spy is fairly comparable to Feig’s last film, The Heat.  Some of it is great, some of it isn’t, and what you end up with is an alright experience that you’ll probably instantly forget.  Then in a year it’ll be on HBO every day and after watching it 22 times, you’ll think it’s pretty funny.  Circle of life, man.

The Lesson:

The world needs a whole movie based on Jason Statham’s ridiculous character from Spy.

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