Spy: Review / by Kenneth Buff

Summer's here, it's hot as hell, what is there to do? In America, we know the answer to that. Go to the movies. If you go anytime this week or next Spy will be one of the many summer flicks jockeying for your attention, (along with the much louder and CGI heavier Jurassic Park IV which just hit theaters today) but is it worth your ten bucks? I think it might be. If you think you'll be satisfied with no more than a few laughs and very few infuriating "comedy" movie moments (no needless dick punches, out of touch racists jokes, or babies puking on people in this movie).

If you've seen the trailers then you know that this is a spy spoof. It's more in the vein of Kingsman than Austin Powers, though it is no way as good as either of those films. There are times when Spy goes too far with its mocking of its lead, Melissa McCarthy, but it isn't to the extreme as other movies she's starred in. No one points out her weight, it's more of about her being an outcast, almost "just because," though the unspoken understanding of these jokes is because she's overweight. These jokes don't come off funny, they feel over worn more than anything, and unfortunately they happen a lot in the first 30 minutes or so of the movie. After we get past that point though, it does pick up. Once Melissa's character goes rogue and starts spying it up (a.k.a beating the shit out of people in well choreographed fights scenes) it is actually pretty fun. It's also a relief to see Melissa hanging up her Chris Farley persona for this movie. She plays a regular person, not someone who takes pleasure in reminding the audience how loudly she can fart, which is a nice treat, because she is a fine actor, but like so many others she's found a niche that works, and she's been driving that persona home.

Speaking of personas, Jason Statham plays an exaggerated version of his action star persona. He pops in the film every so often to throw a few more fucks into the dialogue along with some pretty funny jokes about the extremes he's gone in the past to prove just how much of a bad ass he is (pouring shards of broken glass into his eye, driving a car onto a moving train while he was on fire, ext.).

As much as Spy would like to believe it's a genre mashup that transcends the goofy comedy genre, it really isn't. It's essentially just another run of the mill goofy comedy, but this one is trying harder, and does have some charm. Check it out if you're Avengered out, Jurassiced out, as well as Maxed out.