Sunday, 31 May 2015

Review: Spy

World of Blackout Film Review

Spy Poster

Cert: 15 / 120 mins / Dir. Paul Feig / Trailer
WoB Rating: 3/7

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.

Is this film worth paying £10+ to see?
No, it is not.

Well, I don't like the cinema. Buy it, rent it, or wait for it to be on telly?
If you really, REALLY must watch it, wait for it to be on the free-channels.

Does this film represent the best work of the leading performer(s)?

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Make me want to watch Austin Powers to rinse this taste away? Yeah.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
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.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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