Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Spy (2015)

"Despite having solid field training, CIA analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) has spent her entire career as a desk jockey, working hand-in-hand with dashing agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law). Using high-tech equipment and a hidden earpiece, Susan is the guardian angel who helps Bradley avoid danger. However, when Bradley is assassinated by Bulgarian arms dealer Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), Susan wrangles her way into her first undercover assignment to help capture Boyanov and avenge Bradley."

Our weekly dinner and a movie night hasn't seemed to happen for quite a few weeks now. My oldest son whose visits inspired it came to stay for awhile and somehow with him here for 14 days, Sunday didn't feel like a special night.

Thanksgiving was this weekend and as we had all been sick with colds and totally overbooked - I didn't do the big dinner for the extended family. Instead the four of us - husband, 2 sons and myself - enjoyed a modest Thanksgiving meal, dessert from the local Diplomat Bakery and finally a movie together. We all needed a good laugh, so my oldest suggested Spy with Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham and Jude Law. It was a hit. We laughed and grinned our way from opening scene to closing notes.



First I want to say kudos on the great casting and script. For this movie to work, both had to be bang on and they were. Melissa McCarthy as Susan Cooper totally stole the show here. I can't think of another actress who could have pulled off this part so effectively. She goes from a humble, smart, goofy character to a foul mouth, verbally abusive dynamo with ease. And it's utterly funny because of the contrast between the two characters she portrays. The fact that when she does finally go undercover, the agency always makes her look like a silly woman from some backwater suburb in middle America adds to the laughs. 

The other character where casting and script came together perfectly was Jason Statham as Rick Ford.  He looks like a tough guy, walks like a tough guy and has a voice like a tough guy. But his character and dialogue define him as just left of crazy. From the moment he stepped into the film, that contrast of what he seemed to be versus what came out of his mouth added another great element. There is hilarious conversation after conversation between Ford and Cooper that had us laughing out loud - a mish-mash of several below!

Supporting the hilarity are Jude Law as the James Bond like spy Bradley Fine, Miranda Hart as co-worker Nancy B. Artingstall, Allison Janney as her boss Elaine Crocker, Peter Serafinowicz as her amorous Rome contact Aldo, and Rose Byrne as the evil protagonist Rayna whose updo ws the butt of many jokes, Then there was the home office where a supporting person was online assisting the agents in the field. It had serious pest problems from bats to mice. - side laughs that are thrown in here and there in a Monty Python like, "And now for something completely different." 


It is such a fine line between funny and silly and this movie could have so easily have crossed to the wrong side. Instead director/write Paul Feig, producers and cast found that magic edge between the two and walked it beautifully. Best comedy I've watched in a long time.

= = = =

Rick Ford: You really think you're ready for the field? I once used defibrillators on myself. I put shards of glass in my fuckin' eye. I've jumped from a high-rise building using only a raincoat as a parachute and broke both legs upon landing; I still had to pretend I was in a fucking Cirque du Soleil show! I've swallowed enough microchips and shit them back out again to make a computer. This arm has been ripped off completely and re-attached with *this* fuckin' arm.

Susan Cooper: I don't know that that's possible... I mean medically...















Rick Ford: During the threat of an assassination attempt, I appeared convincingly in front of congress as Barack Obama.

Susan Cooper: In black-face? That's not appropriate.

Rick Ford: I watched the woman I love get tossed from a plane and hit by another plane mid-air. I drove a car off a freeway on top of a train while it was on fire. Not the car, *I* was on fire.

Susan Cooper: Jesus, you're intense.

Rick Ford: Nothing kills me. I'm immune to 179 different types of poison. I know because I ingested them all at once when I was deep undercover in an underground poison-ingesting crime ring.














Susan Cooper: Where'd you get a suit?

Rick Ford: I fucking made it, didn't I?















Rick Ford: We have to stop the sale of a nuclear bomb. They send in someone who looks like Santa Claus' fucking wife!

Susan Cooper: Uh, did you forget? I am undercover because you are not supposed to be here!

Rick Ford:
Well I make a habit out of doing things that people say I can't do: Walk through fire, waterski blindfolded, take up piano at a late age.

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