While the rest of the Freaks & Geeks wasted no time taking over Hollywood when the critically-adored TV show was cancelled after one season in 2001, it wasn’t until the 2011 megahit Bridesmaids that F&G creator Paul Feig’s directorial career really took off.
Since then he’s made The Heat and now this espionage comedy, both of which star Bridesmaids break-out Melissa McCarthy.
McCarthy is a reliably empathetic comedy performer, and she shines as always here. The film gets a lot of mileage out of a delightfully profane comedic turn from Jason Statham, while Jude Law, Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale all ham it up with relish in support.
But at two hours long, I had plenty of time to consider what’s working against the film. The first thing that hit me was that the world really just doesn’t need another spy parody. It’s a subgenre that’s been ploughed for comedy more than for thrills by now, and even the best comedy minds around can’t shake the feeling that this film is picking low-hanging fruit. Call it the Johnny English effect.
Secondly, as dedicated to character as Feig is (he also wrote this film, unlike his other McCarthy collaborations), his schtick is starting to feel a little formulaic. I found myself thinking this generic studio tosh was far beneath his talents. Which is something I also felt during The Heat. Both films ultimately feel like little more than Bridesmaids cash-ins.
All that said, I laughed at least three times.
‘Spy’ Movie Times