Spy proves that hayfever can be a killer.
That’s because super spy Bradley Fine (Jude Law) tracks down Tihomir Boyanov (Raad Rawi), the only man who knows the location of a huge bomb. Alas, while they have a conversation, Fine sneezes and Boyanov is inadvertently brown bread.
While I was initially sceptical that a film lasting 130 minutes was a good idea for a comedy – since ideally, snappy, decent comedies last around 90 minutes without outlasting their welcome – this opening gambit was the first of many jokes which came big and regular.
Melissa McCarthy takes the lead as accidental spy Susan Cooper, who we first see in her long-serving put-upon role of co-ordinating attacks from the CIA in Langley, as she has access to the infra-red drone surveillance footage and can direct Bradley in his missions. There’s also a tale of workplace unrequited love in there (who hasn’t been there! – cue deep sighs from everyone reading this since it’s universally known) since she has a crush on him, while he just assumes she’s a typical cat lady.
Unfortunately, it also features Miranda Hart as one of her colleagues, Nancy. I used to find Miranda funny when she first came to the fore with her radio series, Miranda Hart’s Joke Shop – which later became the TV series, Miranda – but after two series of the latter I’d had enough of that and now she just has one joke carrying her along which is the prat-fall.
Hollywood – if you want to hire a British actress who has comic timing in spades, hire Sarah Moyle! As well as a recent cameo in Sean Penn’s actioner The Gunman, Sarah regularly appears in the BBC soap Doctors, as receptionist Valerie Pitman, and you can see an example of her comic talents in this mash-up .
The plot (yes, it has one) is that a nuke is on its way to New York for the UN General Leaders’ assembly, and with Boyanov no longer around, Susan finds a lead which takes her to tracking down his offspring, Rayna (Rose Byrne – whose evil Russian character bizarrely has a posh, British accent, making her sound more like Rupert Everett at times), since she knows the identities of all the CIA’s top agents. With Susan the only unknown to her, she gets the spy job.
There are many great cast members here including Jason Statham sending up his hard guy image as Rick Ford, who constantly plays top trumps with himself with his constant boasts, such as: “I know I can’t die because I once ingested 179 different types of poison. I know this because I ingested them all at once, when I was deep undercover, in an underground, poison-ingesting crime ring. It was like dog fighting… and rich people bet whether we would live or die.”
However, there’s one scene between him and McCarthy where he concludes that she finds him intense, yet the second trailer had a better line, which surprisingly isn’t used here, where instead she cowers: “You’re kinda starting to freak me out!”
Peter Serafinowicz‘s character is intentionally sleazy and he sounds like Serge Gainsbourg when he tried to show off to Whitney Houston on the French chat show Champs élysées, telling her he wants to 'fuck her' .
And let’s bring Anton back for the sequel and give him more lines. The extras, showing him getting turned on by Susan’s cuss words, were brilliant.
Kudos also to the theme song featured here. While the film sends up the James Bond franchise brilliantly, Ivy Levan‘s Who Can You Trust adds that extra finesse. And, quite frankly, it pisses all over Sam Smith’s Spectre drawl, Writing’s On The Wall. And Spectre, itself, was such a disappointment, but Spy combined with Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation brings us everything a single Bond film should’ve deleted and yet completely failed to do.
Spy has many laugh-out-loud moments – far more than I was expecting from a Paul Feig movie – so I’m really looking forward to the sequel, but given that they’ve saved 11 minutes for the Blu-ray version – when they could’ve fitted into the cinema version quite happily, I’ll wait for the Blu-ray.
Now when we get Spy 2, please just replace Miranda with Sarah Moyle and then everything will be sweet and dandy, thankyou.
In addition, maybe I might give Bridesmaids and The Heat a try. I dismissed these as chick flicks, and like with Miranda, I really cannot see what the Americans see in Chris O’Dowd, so I’ll just pretend he’s Jar Jar Binks. That character was easily ignored in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. However, getting me on board for a female Ghostbusters movie is a tough ask. Then again, while the first film was unsurpassable, Ghostbusters II was dreadful.
And in further addition, there’s more after the credits, so stay with them!
Go to page 2 for the presentation and the extras.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.