I finally got around to seeing Spy this weekend. I had absolutely not wanted to go for the obvious reason that I don’t find Melissa McCarthy funny. Her “comedy” has never appealed to me. Don’t get me wrong – I certainly like what she is capable of as evidenced by her performance in St. Vincent. It was a bloody fantastic movie and McCarthy didn’t get pigeonholed as the “large woman”. I like when actors can break out of the stereotype and play something different and like it better when it’s done well.
Speaking of “something different”, Statham stole the film far as I’m concerned. I like pretty much everything Statham is in if for no other reason, than solely because he’s in it. He’s got the propensity to be intense, active, serious, mad, and even cheeky at some points. This movie had him play all of those things except to a comedic extent. As the straight-laced character, his intensity resulted in a lot of laughs. His over-the-top antics were fantastic and it’s great to know that he was able to pull it off so well.
The movie was very generic in its spy movie plotting. It was done well though and to me had a Johnny English vibe to it. I quite enjoyed that film as well in retrospect. The cast was strong, the hijinks were fun, the fight scenes were well executed. I think the only issue for me was two-fold: McCarthy played the large woman again but on top of that, her chapter makes a major dynamic change about halfway through and it felt both forced and didn’t really have any lead-up. She went from being a mousy desk clerk to being a foul-mouthed rough and tough action lady. Certainly the change was warranted to push forward the plot, but there could have been some preface. Ah well.
I guess it’s safe to say that the cheese is abundant. The homage du fromage to other spy movies is obvious. I wish McCarthy’s character wasn’t written like almost every other movie she’s in. She can do more than be a stereotypical large woman! Worth noting by the way, is how excellent Peter Serafinowicz was in the movie. His over-the-top Italian agent character was gold. I won’t reveal any other spoilers. While Statham mostly stole the film, Serafinowicz wasn’t far behind.