Cert: 15 / 120 mins / Dir. Paul Feig / Trailer
Like some awful hybrid of Johnny English and Paul Blart, Spy's most offensive trait is how blatantly unnecessary it all is. At no point was the world crying out for a comedy-espionage movie in which Melissa McCarthy and Miranda Hart get to trade self-deprecating filler-lines against a backdrop of cat-lady jokes. But we got one, anyway.
Paul Feig's screenplay limps from one scene to the next, its obsession with letting the cast ad-lib their gags robbing most of the set-pieces of any discernible punchline. Melissa McCarthy is on lazy form, complete with the tell-tale half-second pause before her scripted line finishes and her improvisation begins, which usually involves blustering the same idea three times, punctuated with fuck-words. In fairness to her, she's not the only one effing-and-jeffing long after the point of it ceasing to be funny, with Jason Statham and Rose Byrne also trying to wear out the pencil of the profanity-counter at the MPAA (seriously, I'm not a prude, but there's way too much swearing in the final cut).
The film isn't entirely devoid of laughs, but a viewer shouldn't have to work this hard for them. Okay, Spy is probably not as awful as I'm making out, but it's a staggeringly lazy film in which the star gets to do five (FIVE) comedy-pratfalls in lieu of jokes. Kevin James I can understand, but almost everyone involved in this film is (should be) better than this.
The pairing of McCarthy and Feig combines the law of diminishing returns and an autopilot, template-filling approach to film-making. Even when the movie is on-target, it's never more than ordinary, but when it goes off-road..?
I'll be honest with you, I'm worried for Ghostbusters.
No, it is not.
If you really, REALLY must watch it, wait for it to be on the free-channels.
Make me want to watch Austin Powers to rinse this taste away? Yeah.
Well at least the film has a double score here. Spy stars Rose Byrne, handmaiden Dormé from Attack of the Clones, as well as Peter Serafinowicz, the voice of Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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