Picoreview: Spy: very very funny. Very vulgar. Very kick-ass. Very funny.
Two weeks ago I’d had no intention at all of seeing Spy, because the trailer made it look like it was probably all about making mockery of the fat lady. I then read a review from a reviewer whose politics I like (Scott Mendelson; he reviews movies for Forbes and is a left-leaning liberal feminist) which said “despite the trailers that is not what this movie is,” and then I read a few more reviews that all said the same thing and also that Jason Statham was an undiscovered comedic gem, so I went to see it.
And indeed, that is not what Spy is. There are no outright fat lady jokes and very few oblique ones. The oblique ones are arguably as much Person Who Spends Most Of Her Time In A Basement Is Obliged To Interact In Public and/or Action Movie Extremes Have Slight Collision With Real World Physics as they are fat mockery.
Melissa McCarthy’s physique is not shied away from: her cover identities tend to be frumpy (much to her aggravation), and there’s one high camp character whose flirtations make a great deal of her figure. However, despite/through the camp, I got the impression that the character actually thought she was very attractive. In fact, through the whole second half of the film, when McCarthy looks absolutely fucking fabulous, clearly the only character who doesn’t think she’s hotter than hell is the one described in the trailer as dressing like a slutty dolphin trainer.
There were at least three times in the film where I expected a fat lady potshot that totally did not happen. So what I’m saying here is, this is not a movie about making fun of a fat lady who wants to be a spy. And I’m going on about that a lot, but it was SO UNLIKELY that I wanted to make it clear:
This is, in fact, a movie about a fat lady who is a kick ass spy. I don’t want to say too much about some of the scenes because I don’t want to spoil them, but there’s one mirrored scene in particular (by which I mean two similar scenes, not a scene with actual mirrors) that’s just jaw-droppingly awesome. It may have caused spontaneous audience cheering. :)
A thing happened that I totally expected but there was a huge gasp from half the audience, who apparently did not expect it. :)
THE CREDITS! OMG! THEY ARE STRAIGHT-UP BOND CREDITS! THEY ARE WONDERFUL!
I thought Jude Law’s American accent was slightly wobbly (why, someone asked, did he use an American accent, when Miranda Hart and Jason Statham both used their own British accents despite working for the CIA? I suppose it was just in case Law ever gets a chance to play Bond :)), but he was rocking a hairpiece second only to Brandon Frasier’s, and was pretty wonderful.
Jason Statham, however, stole the show. He and McCarthy had amazing chemistry and his part was so over the top and hysterical, and it turns out the man has comedic timing like you wouldn’t believe. He had one line that, OMG. O.M.G. The film actually needed a pause button to give the audience time to recover. Or rewind and listen to him say it again, because OMG. O.M.G.
By the last quarter of the film I had to pee, but I couldn’t get up and go for fear of missing something, nor could I stop laughing, so there was a lot of leg-crossing in the final 15 minutes or so, and h=then I stayed through the credits (which proved worth doing, but not critical). I left the theatre giggling and was still laughing when I went to bed. It was a hugely fun movie and I hope there are MANY MANY MORE.
(x-posted from The Essential Kit)