Spy (2015 film)

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Spy
Spy2015 TeaserPoster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Paul Feig
Produced by
Written by Paul Feig
Starring
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography Robert Yeoman
Edited by
Production
companies
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • March 15, 2015 (2015-03-15) (SXSW)
  • June 5, 2015 (2015-06-05) (United States)
Running time
120 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $65 million[2]
Box office $235.7 million[3]

Spy is a 2015 American action comedy spy film written and directed by Paul Feig. Starring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, and Jude Law, the film follows the transformation of desk-bound CIA analyst Susan Cooper (McCarthy) into a field agent who attempts to foil the black market sale of a suitcase nuke.

Produced by Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Feig and Jessie Henderson, the film was theatrically released on June 5, 2015. It received praise from critics and was a box office success.[4] It was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for McCarthy.

Plot[edit]

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is a 40-year-old, single, desk-bound CIA employee who remotely assists her partner, field agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law), on a mission. Fine accidentally kills arms dealer Tihomir Boyanov as he sneezes during a confrontation before extracting the location of a suitcase nuke from him. Susan uncovers evidence that Rayna (Rose Byrne), Boyanov's daughter, has contacted Sergio De Luca (Bobby Cannavale), a suspected broker with ties to various terrorist groups, so Fine infiltrates her home. However, Rayna shoots Fine dead, while Susan watches helplessly online, then reveals that she knows the identities of the agency's top agents, including Rick Ford (Jason Statham) and Karen Walker (Morena Baccarin). Susan, who is almost certainly unknown to Rayna, volunteers to track her (she was a top trainee agent, albeit over ten years ago). When her boss, Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney), reluctantly agrees, the ultra macho Ford quits in disgust.

With her best friend Nancy (Miranda Hart) providing intelligence, Susan goes to Paris undercover. That night, Ford shows up and tells Susan she will fail because of her inexperience. The next morning, Susan discovers that De Luca's office has burned down. She finds a photo of a man standing next to the fire. Ford appears, argues with Susan again and leaves. Susan sees the man in the photo follow him and switch his backpack with another one containing a bomb while Ford is distracted. Susan warns Ford in time during a Verka Serduchka concert and then pursues the man into an abandoned building. During the ensuing fight, he falls to his death. When she checks the man's video camera, Susan learns that De Luca is going to Rome.

In Rome, Susan meets her contact Aldo (Peter Serafinowicz). She follows Sergio into a casino, where she saves Rayna's life. Rayna brings Susan into her inner circle and takes Susan on her private plane to Budapest. In mid-flight, the steward kills Rayna's bodyguard and pilots, but Susan subdues him. Rayna believes Susan to be a CIA agent, but Susan convinces her that she was hired by Boyanov to protect his daughter.

In Budapest, Susan meets Nancy, who was sent by Crocker. After being shot at, Susan pursues and catches up with the would-be assassin: Karen, who sold Rayna the names of the other agents. She tries to shoot Susan, but an unknown sniper kills her. Susan, Nancy and Aldo accompany Rayna to a party to meet Rayna's contact. That turns out to be Lia (Nargis Fakhri), the woman who distracted Ford in Paris. Nancy creates a diversion (by pretending to be a crazed fan of guest performer 50 Cent) so that Susan can try to apprehend Lia unnoticed. Because of Ford's inopportune intervention, however, Lia runs off. Susan chases after her. After a brutal fight, as Susan is about to kill Lia, she is instead killed by Fine, who earlier faked his death and is now Rayna's lover and associate.

Rayna imprisons Susan and Aldo in a bunker. Later, Fine reveals to Susan that he is trying to gain Rayna's trust to locate the nuke, and he was the one who killed Karen. Susan and Aldo escape. At De Luca's mansion, Fine, Rayna and Sergio wait for Solsa Dudaev (Richard Brake), head of an al-Qaeda-funded terrorist group. Susan convinces Rayna and De Luca that, even though she works for the CIA, she will do anything to protect Fine, admitting that she loves him. Dudaev gives De Luca a suitcase full of diamonds, and Rayna produces the device. De Luca has Dudaev and his men killed, then reveals his plan to sell the device to another buyer (though they also intend to bomb New York City), before pointing his gun at Rayna. Ford distracts him, allowing Susan to kill his men. Sergio escapes to his helicopter with the device and the diamonds, but Susan grabs onto the landing gear. In the ensuing struggle, Susan throws the diamonds and the device into a lake below. De Luca attempts to shoot Susan, but Nancy, following in another helicopter, shoots him in the back before he can. He grabs on to Susan's necklace (a gift from Fine), but she releases the catch and De Luca falls out of the helicopter to his death.

The nuke is retrieved by the CIA, and Rayna is arrested. Ford, to Susan's surprise, compliments her on her job. Crocker tells Susan that she will remain a field agent, and that her next assignment will take her to Prague to infiltrate a drug smuggling ring. Fine invites Susan to dinner, but she instead opts for a night out with Nancy.

The next morning, Susan wakes up in bed next to Ford and screams. It is implied that they slept together, and Ford says that she loved it.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On June 18, 2013, it was announced that Paul Feig was developing Susan Cooper, a female spy comedy, for 20th Century Fox. Feig wrote and directed the film.[5] Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping produced the film under the Chernin Entertainment banner, with Feig and Jessie Henderson for Feigco Entertainment.[6] On November 12, 2013, Fox announced a release date of May 22, 2015.[7] On March 28, 2014, the film's title was changed to Spy.[8]

Casting[edit]

On July 25, 2013, it was confirmed that Melissa McCarthy was in negotiations to play the title role of Susan Cooper, a female comic version of James Bond. Zooey Deschanel was originally slated to play the role of Elaine Crocker but left the project.[9] On October 17, Rose Byrne joined the cast of the film.[10] On October 21, it was reported that Jason Statham met with Feig to begin talks about joining the cast;[11] he later joined on February 26, 2014.[12] On March 6, 2014, it was reported that actor Jude Law was in final talks to join the cast of the film.[13] On March 12, it was revealed that internationally known actress Nargis Fakhri would make her Hollywood debut with the film, playing the role of a secret agent.[14] On March 28, Miranda Hart also signed on to star in the film,[15] while Bobby Cannavale and Nia Long were in final talks to join (Long did not appear in the finished film).[8] McCarthy played Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst who goes into the field following the disappearance of a suave super-spy portrayed by Law. Statham played an overconfident yet clumsy spy, Hart played as Nancy Artingstall,[16] and Cannavale played a villain, an Italian playboy.[8] On April 1, 50 Cent joined the cast and played himself.[6] On April 24, Feig confirmed the role of Fakhri and added two more comic actors: Peter Serafinowicz and Björn Gustafsson.[17] On April 30, both Morena Baccarin and Allison Janney joined the cast. Baccarin played one of the agency’s top spies,[18] while Janney played top CIA agent Elaine Crocker.[19] On May 2, Zach Woods joined the cast.[20] On May 29, Jessica Chaffin was added to the cast.[21]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography and production began on March 31, 2014, in Budapest, Hungary.[15][22] On May 27, filming was under way in Budapest and was about to wrap up.[23] Apart from tax breaks, shooting was primarily done in Budapest because its architecture and location could allow it to appear as other places where the story took place, including Paris.[24]

Release[edit]

The film was originally scheduled to be released on May 22, 2015, by 20th Century Fox.[7] In March 2015, the date was pushed back to June 5, 2015, which was first assigned to B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations and Paper Towns, the former of which being taken off the schedule and the latter moved to July.[25] Prior to its official release, Paul Feig stated that Spy went through about 10 test screenings, a process - which includes recording the audience laughter for each version - he does "religiously", with Judd Apatow (who produced the Feig-directed Bridesmaids) commenting on its usefulness for a comedy film: "It doesn’t work very well if a movie is supposed to make you feel difficult emotions. If you’re making a David Lynch movie, it doesn’t work at all. But for comedy it’s often the best way to refine jokes."[26]

Spy received an early release of May 21, 2015 in Australia, Malaysia and Vietnam,[27] and of May 28, 2015 in Israel and May 29, 2015 in Norway.

Marketing[edit]

The first official full-length trailer of the film was released on January 13, 2015.[28]

Box office[edit]

Spy grossed $110.8 million in North America and $124.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $235.6 million, against a budget of $65 million.[3]

In North America, the film made $1.5 million from its early Thursday night showings[29] and an estimated $10.3 million on its opening day from 3,711 theaters, coming at second place at the box office behind Insidious: Chapter 3.[30] It topped the box office in its opening weekend earning $29 million.[31]

Outside North America, Spy opened in ten foreign markets on May 22, 2015, earning $12.7 million in its opening weekend from 1,810 screens, and coming in fourth place at the box office (behind Mad Max: Fury Road, Tomorrowland, and Pitch Perfect 2).[32] In the UK, Ireland and Malta, it opened with $3.9 million.[33] The film had successful openings in South Korea ($4.8 million), Russia and the CIS ($3.1 million), Australia ($2.9 million), Mexico ($1.6 million) and Taiwan ($1.3 million).[32][33]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Spy received critical acclaim, with critics praising McCarthy and Byrne's performances, as well as Statham's surprise comedic role.[34][35][36][37] Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes lists a 94% approval rating, based on 228 reviews, with a rating average of 7.2/10. The site's consensus reads, "Simultaneously broad and progressive, Spy offers further proof that Melissa McCarthy and writer-director Paul Feig bring out the best in one another — and delivers scores of belly laughs along the way."[38] On Metacritic the film has a score of 75 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[39] In CinemaScore polls, cinema audiences gave the film an average score of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[30]

McCarthy's performance was praised by critics. Richard Roeper of The Chicago Sun Times called her "as funny and as winning as anyone in the movies these days".[40] Tom Russo of The Boston Globe credited the film's success to McCarthy, writing, "part of what makes the action comedy such a loopy blast is the identity shifts she pulls on the audience."[41] Bill Goodykoontz of Arizona Republic called the film McCarthy's return to form, writing "Finally, after the promise shown in Bridesmaids, but sold short since by weak scripts in films like Tammy and Identity Thief, Melissa McCarthy gets a movie vehicle worthy of her talents."[42]

In addition to McCarthy's, many of the supporting cast members' performances were praised, particularly Byrne's and Statham's. John Boone of Entertainment Tonight said Statham "twists his action hero persona into a delightfully delusional version of the same thing", and praised Byrne's performance, writing "For every joke that McCarthy’s Susan Cooper ends up as the butt of, Byrne is the one teeing it up with perfectly understated wickedness. She can so easily spit out lines as offensive as, after Cooper delivers a punny cheers, "What a stupid, f**king toast,” but make it...charming?"[43] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called Byrne's comedic timing "bitchy perfection".[44]

Accolades[edit]

Award Category Recipient(s) and Nominee(s) Result
Critics' Choice Movie Awards[45][46] Best Comedy Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Melissa McCarthy Nominated
Best Actor in a Comedy Jason Statham Nominated
Evening Standard British Film Awards Award for Comedy Nominated
Empire Awards[47][48] Best Comedy Won
Georgia Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Rose Byrne Nominated
Glamour Awards Comedy Actress Melissa McCarthy Nominated
Rose Byrne Won
Golden Globe Awards[49] Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Melissa McCarthy Nominated
Golden Trailer Awards Best Comedy "Secret Agent" Nominated
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Best Comedy Film Nominated
MTV Movie Awards[50] Best Comedic Performance Melissa McCarthy Nominated
Best Fight Melissa McCarthy vs. Nargis Fakhri Nominated
People's Choice Awards[51][52] Favorite Comedic Movie Nominated
Favorite Comedic Movie Actress Melissa McCarthy Won
Phoenix Critics Circle Best Comedy Film Nominated
Saturn Awards[53] Best Action or Adventure Film Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Best Film – Comedy Nominated
Teen Choice Awards[54] Choice Summer Movie Nominated
Choice Summer Movie Star: Female Melissa McCarthy Nominated
Choice Movie: Hissy Fit Nominated
Choice Movie: Villain Rose Byrne Nominated
Utah Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor - Female Won
Village Voice Film Poll Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Women Film Critics Circle Best Comedic Actress Melissa McCarthy Nominated

Possible Sequel[edit]

According to The Guardian, Paul Feig was already writing a sequel as of an interview that was conducted on May 30, 2015.[55] This is unconfirmed though as the project doesn't have a producer.[56]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "SPY (15)". British Board of Film Classification. April 17, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  2. ^ Ryzik, Melena (May 1, 2015). "The Director Paul Feig Prepares ‘Spy’ With Melissa McCarthy". Retrieved May 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Spy (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  4. ^ "'Spy' - Movie Review". Retrieved June 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ Sneider, Jeff (June 18, 2013). "Paul Feig Developing Female James Bond Comedy 'Susan Cooper'". thewrap.com. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Kit, Borys (April 1, 2014). "50 Cent Joins Melissa McCarthy in 'Spy'". Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Ford, Rebecca (November 12, 2013). "Fox Shifts 'Fantastic Four' Reboot to Summer 2015, Dates Paul Feig's 'Susan Cooper'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Kit, Borys (March 28, 2014). "Bobby Cannavale, Nia Long in Talks to Join 'Spy'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  9. ^ McNary, Dave (July 25, 2013). "Melissa McCarthy May Play Female James Bond in Comedy". variety.com. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  10. ^ Sneider, Jeff (October 17, 2013). "‘Bridesmaids’ Reunion: Rose Byrne to Join Melissa McCarthy in Paul Feig’s Spy Comedy". thewrap.com. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  11. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (October 21, 2013). "Jason Statham Eyes Spy Role With Melissa McCarthy In Fox Comedy ‘Susan Cooper’". deadline.com. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 26, 2014). "Jason Statham to Join Melissa McCarthy in Fox’s ‘Susan Cooper’". variety.com. Retrieved February 27, 2014. 
  13. ^ Sneider, Jeff (March 6, 2014). "Jude Law Nearing Deal to Join Melissa McCarthy's Spy Comedy ‘Susan Cooper’". thewrap.com. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  14. ^ Qazi, Umer (March 12, 2014). "American born Pakistani-Czech ethnic actress Nargis Fakhri to appear in Hollywood film featuring Jason Statham". brecorder.com. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Fleming Jr, Mike (March 28, 2014). "Paul Feig Taps Miranda Hart For Female Spy Comedy". deadline.com. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  16. ^ Gertler, Dan. Dan Gertler Movies Reviews: A Blog Collection. 
  17. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (April 24, 2014). "Paul Feig Taps Offshore Talent For Melissa McCarthy Spy Tale". deadline.com. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (April 30, 2014). "'Homeland' Actress Morena Baccarin Joins Melissa McCarthy in 'Spy'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  19. ^ Patten, Dominic (April 30, 2014). "Allison Janney Joins Powerhouse Cast Of Paul Feig’s ‘Spy’". deadline.com. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Zach Woods Cast In ‘Spy’". deadline.com. May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  21. ^ Ford, Rebecca (May 29, 2014). "'New Girl' Actress Joins Paul Feig's 'Spy'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  22. ^ "ON THE SET FOR 3/31/14: PAUL FEIG AND MELISSA MCCARTHY START ‘SPY’ AND MICHAEL FASSBENDER WRAPS ‘MACBETH’". studiosystemnews.com. March 31, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  23. ^ Kauri (May 27, 2014). "Melissa McCarthy Movie ‘Spy’ filming in Budapest". onlocationvacations.com. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  24. ^ Iain Blair (May 1, 2015). "Director's Chair: Paul Feig -- 'Spy'". Post Magazine. Retrieved June 15, 2015. 
  25. ^ Lesnick, Silas (March 4, 2015). "20th Century Fox Shifts Dates for Spy, Poltergeist and Paper Towns". comingsoon.net. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  26. ^ Melena Ryzik (May 1, 2015). "The Director Paul Feig Prepares ‘Spy’ With Melissa McCarthy". The New York Times. Retrieved June 15, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Spy - Movie Reviews & More". yourmovies.com.au. 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  28. ^ "'Spy' Trailer: Watch Melissa McCarthy Transform Into a Secret Agent". The Hollywood Reporter. January 13, 2015. Retrieved November 22, 2015. 
  29. ^ Anthony D'Alessandro (June 5, 2015). "‘Insidious: Chapter 3′, ‘Spy’ Get The Busy Frame Started With Previews – Box Office". Deadline.com. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved June 5, 2015. 
  30. ^ a b Pamela McClintock (June 6, 2015). "Box Office: 'Spy' Laughs Past Rival Comedy 'Entourage,' Horror Film 'Insidious 3'". The Hollywood Reporter. (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  31. ^ Keith Simanton (June 7, 2015). "Weekend Report - 'Spy' Eyes $30M Weekend". Box Office Mojo. (Amazon.com). Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  32. ^ a b Nancy Tartaglione and Kinsey Lowe (May 26, 2015). "‘Tomorrowland’s $74.7M Global Bow; ‘Pitch Perfect 2′ Singing $190.4M Cume; ‘Mad Max’ Smokin’ $227.7M – Wwide B.O. Update". Deadline.com. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved June 5, 2015. 
  33. ^ a b Nancy Tartaglione and Anita Busch (June 8, 2015). "‘San Andreas’ Has Seismic $97.7M Frame; ‘Spy’ Crosses $50M – Intl B.O. Final". Deadline.com. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  34. ^ Joanna Robinson. "Melissa McCarthy Gets Her James Bond On in Spy". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Spy". The Times. Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Melissa McCarthy’s Best Role Yet: From ‘Bridesmaids’ to Ass-Kicking CIA ‘Spy’". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  37. ^ Justin Chang. "‘Spy’ Review: A Brilliant Showcase for Melissa McCarthy - Variety". Variety. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Spy". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-09-02. 
  39. ^ "Spy Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  40. ^ Roeper, Richard. "Spy Review". Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  41. ^ Russo, Tom. "Melissa McCarthy pulls off her latest comic role, secret agent, in ‘Spy’". Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  42. ^ Bill, Goodykoontz. "Review: Melissa McCarthy makes a terrific 'Spy'". Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  43. ^ Boone, John. "How 'Spy' Cements Rose Byrne's Status as the Underrated Queen of Comedy". Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  44. ^ Travers, Peter. "Spy Review". Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  45. ^ "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'Mad Max' Leads Film; ABC, HBO, FX Networks & 'Fargo' Top TV". Deadline.com. December 14, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015. 
  46. ^ Guglielmi, Jodi (December 14, 2015). "Critics' Choice Awards Mad About Mad Max: Fury Road as Nominations Are Announced". people.com. Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  47. ^ Nugent, John. "Star Wars and Mad Max win big at the 2016 Jameson Empire Awards". Empire. Retrieved 2016-03-20. 
  48. ^ "Star Wars beats Mad Max at Empire awards". BBC News. 20 March 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2016. 
  49. ^ "Golden Globe Nominations: The Complete List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  50. ^ "2016 MTV Movie Award Winners: See The Full List". MTV News. Retrieved April 11, 2016. 
  51. ^ "2016 Winners and highlights". CBS News. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  52. ^ "List: Who won People's Choice Awards?". USA Today. January 6, 2016. Archived from the original on January 6, 2016. Retrieved January 6, 2016. 
  53. ^ "The 42nd Annual Saturn Awards nominations are announced for 2016!". Saturn Awards. February 24, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 
  54. ^ "WINNERS OF TEEN CHOICE 2015 ANNOUNCED". Teen Choice Awards. FOX. August 16, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2015. 
  55. ^ "Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig on Spy: 'When it works, it works like jazz'". The Guardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 
  56. ^ "Will 'Spy' Get A Sequel? This Badass Melissa McCarthy Deserves One More Than Anything, That's For Sure". bustle.com. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 

External links[edit]