2015, action, action comedy, comedy, jason statham, jude law, melissa mcCarthy, miranda hart, Movie review, rose byrne, spy
by Heinrich Domingo
When one thinks of comedy films, she or he is reminded of stupidity, lameness, and shallow storyline. One kind of movie that is often void of comedy is that of spies and secret agent films. They are required to include serious script, futuristic technology, and complex plot. Spy counters these preconceptions and creates a method that proves to be both innovative and effective. As it combines action and comedy, it delivers a craft that gives hope to a new brand of movie.
The movie uses the formulaic beginning of many spy films. A male secret agent is assigned to a mission. Audiences are brought into a patriarchal world run by macho spies with sexy women behind their backs. After this initial tour in the typical spy film, Spy continues its storytelling through an introduction of its main character. Surprisingly, the agent it speaks of is not a macho male agent but a fat clumsy female one. With this, the movie sets a paradigm-changing theme.
In order to further mock the convention, the script employs funny but witty lines that usually disturb the formal setting. It is seldom that viewers see a spy film ridiculing its own kind. In this movie, the filmgoers can feast on endless flow of subtle criticisms on the unrealistic nature of agent films. Included were issues of formality, luxurious living, and combat techniques. Through exaggeration, Spy shows that there is so much to explore in spy and agent films.
More than the laughter of the viewers, the film speaks of deeper matters that need to be discussed. Topics of gender equality, feminization of secret agents, and romanticizing crimes and violence are for the first time talked about. For a crowd that has been craving for intellectually deep movies spiced up with comedy, this film is a must-see.
The beautiful integration of comedy in the action-packed plot defined the storytelling of Spy. As the script delivers an effective kind of humor, it does not belittle the minds of the audience. Editing might not come as one of this film’s strengths but as it tried to be factual in its fight scenes, small errors can be forgiven. With powerful punch lines, the film can be remembered as media that tried to offer a new material to the public. For those who wish to consume a fresh take on agent films, this one is for you.
Because I can see your point and can see what the movie attempted to do, I can’t help but wonder if I would have enjoyed the movie more with a different lead actress. Personally I can’t stand Melissa McCarthy’s shtick and it really got in the way of this movie for me. Her brand of comedy overshadowed the good elements and the direction the movie was trying to take, as you explained. The movie had a lot of potential and directions it could have taken (as evidenced by any scene with Jason Statham) but, in my opinion, just took the same easy road every Mccarthy movie does.
Quite the contrary, we think McCarthy’s line of comedy perfectly fits or even defines the film’s theme and direction. We can honestly say that the film would have a different feel and humor if not for her. Nevertheless, we understand that her comedy is not made for everyone’s liking. Would you like to expound on why you think McCarthy’s brand is not effective for the movie? Thanks for the comment.
First of all you are welcome for the comment. I would also like to express my appreciation for all the likes you have given articles on my site. But back to the point. I agree that the film would have a different humor without McCarthy. But I disagree that I would have a totally different feel. Maybe slightly but I think the satirical aspects, “fish out of water” scenario, comedic timing and spy/action comedy mashup could still be felt with a different lead and a different type of humor . I just think there are brands of humor that work better for me. To be clear I am only stating my personal opinion. I didn’t enjoy the film because of her brand of comedy and would have preferred a different brand. But I know many enjoyed this film and the comedy in it.
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Wonderful review, I downloaded this Movie last week. After reading your review I just can’t wait to see this movie.
I really enjoyed this movie! I laughed my ass off and enjoyed the intense action sequences too. It was a comedic spy movie that took itself seriously and it worked!
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You’re right – there really is a gender equality theme lurking about. Among her role as villain, Rose Byrne perfectly captures the condescending nature of rich & gorgeous entitlement.
McCarthy takes down this stereotype with her sincerity and ‘oh-come-on’ humor… Man, you really got me re-thinking this movie and I love it! 😀
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