Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Thank you Paul Feig. It’s like you’ve taken the best of Judd Apatow and eliminated all the pretense, indulgence, bullshit, and Adam Sandler and crafted an action-comedy that is both smart and silly.
SPY is a pitch-perfect spoof of the James Bond genre, down to the opening title sequence complete with a Shirley Bassey-esque theme song that makes no sense whatsoever. Along the way, Feig doesn’t miss a trick, touching on every Bond convention from the high stakes Baccarat game to the formal reception to the exotic worldwide locations. On the screen a graphic will come on that says Rome and a few seconds later one that adds Italy – as if audiences needed to be told this. There are big laughs, little laughs, laughs on the way to other laughs.
The key to the comedy, and it’s always a good lesson, is that everything is played straight. No one in this film knows they’re in a comedy. It might as well be an espionage thriller but the situations are absurd and the dialogue is funny.
Is SPY a comedy classic? Is it SOME LIKE IT HOT? Is it ANIMAL HOUSE? Is it VOLUNTEERS (Okay, had to slip that one in there)? No. But it truly delivers. How refreshing to sit through a summer comedy and not squirm, check your watch, groan, fall asleep, or hate your life. Hey, by today’s standards maybe it is a classic.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM