Why?: It’s not on DVD yet!
Wait, what’s happening?: Max and I have decided that on top of reviewing our DVD collection, we should include new movies we see. Once we each give our opinions, we’ll both say whether we’d GET IT or FORGET IT (and this will hopefully keep Megan from buying every movie ever made.) So enjoy this maiden voyage of the DVD Expansion Project.
The Rules: Just like with the DVD Purge Project, for a DVD to gain a positive ruling (here: “Get It”), only one of us needs to vote positively. For a negative ruling, there must be consensus.
The Movie: Spy
Megan’s Thoughts: I walked into this movie with low expectations. I wasn’t a fan of the trailers; I thought it was going to be a feature where all the jokes were about how ugly/fat/uncoordinated Melissa McCarthy was. And I like Melissa McCarthy, I didn’t want to see her insulted for two hours.
Thankfully, my interpretation of the trailers was wrong.
Spy is about Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy), a deskbound CIA analyst stuck at her basement computer while she aids a top agent in his dangerous missions. But when her partner Bradley Fine (Jude Law) falls into danger and agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham) goes awol, she steps up to go undercover and take down Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) before the sale of a nuclear bomb can be finalized. It’s a rock-em sock-em action flick where the jokes fly as fast as the bullets.
The cast in this movie is on point. I did not know Jason Statham could be so funny, and Rose Byrne brought sass and swagger to the evil Boyanov. Susan’s sidekick and (best?) friend Nancy (Miranda Hart) had me in stitches as she jumped into the action to assist Susan on her mission and, on her own time, chase after 50 Cent. Nancy might actually be my second favourite character, behind Susan Cooper, and I’ll be binge watching more of Hart’s work.
For the record this is my favourite Melissa McCarthy role so far. About halfway through the movie they unleash her character from the desk/beginner agent version that is given lame fake identities and wears a lot of cat shirts into an insult-wielding, gun-toting boss bitch so quick on the quips I couldn’t keep up. It was outstanding. It’s the same brand of insult comedy that I enjoy when I watch something with Tina Fey behind it.
Well done to writer/director Paul Feig, who also directed Bridesmaids and The Heat. I’ll be keeping a close eye on his next project if this is the kind of material he’ll be churning out. Oh wait, it’s the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters. I’m in.
Knowing that I missed some of the jokes because I was too busy laughing at the one previous, and needing to relive the airplane scene between McCarthy and Byrne again and again and again, I’d go ahead and say this is a GET IT for me. It checks a lot of boxes I look for (namely, female characters that don’t just talk about boys.) I’d watch it again for sure.
Max’s Thoughts: The CIA in the world of Paul Feig’s Spy is a strange place to work. One minute you’re helping a gorgeous field agent take out terrorists, the next an office bat gives you pink eye. Feig is no stranger to Melissa McCarthy, as Megan noted, and I think he really knows how to wield her. Most importantly, once that switch from meek desk jockey to “boss bitch” happens, he gives McCarthy a weapon she doesn’t seem to get to use enough: Her mouth.
So many of the roles she has been given/chosen boil down to “look at how fat this lady is!” Or to put it another way, I don’t need to see Bridesmaids to know which one of the bridesmaids poops in the sink. She does her fair share of prat-falling in Spy, but when push comes to shove, it’s usually Susan Cooper doing the shoving. Her answer to her blown cover is to insult her way back undercover. It’s beautiful at times.
Feig has as long a relationship with Judd Apatow as anyone in Hollywood, so it doesn’t surprise me that this feels like something out of the Apatow oeuvre. It ticks all the boxes from the brilliant character work of big names like Allison Janney and Jude Law to the random but effective 50 Cent cameo. Every bone in my body went into this movie expecting to hate it, almost wanting to hate it. But I laughed. A lot.
And for a comedy, that’s all it really comes down to. All that said, I don’t see myself watching it over and over, and when it comes to buying a comedy on DVD, that what it all comes down to. FORGET IT.
Verdict: GET IT.