back to article Spy: Acres of comedy talent make this smart spook spoof an instant classic

Plenty has already been written about Paul Feig’s attempts to prove that women are, indeed, funny in films like Bridesmaids and The Heat and still more has been said about the potential of Melissa McCarthy to break out of the frumpy, fat supporting roles and into the Hollywood A-list. But anyone who thinks they’re getting …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That is a very Bulgarian name - . So is the family name too.

    A Bulgarian master villain(ness)? Interesting? What happened with the mandate to stereotype Russians into this? Aren't we supposed to demonize them into the new enemy at every single possible opportunity (when we are not doing that with North Koreans).

  2. PaulyV

    Enjoying Paul Feig's work. He is putting a lot of effort into his films and I am pleased they are finding an audience. We get, what, 2 decent comedies a year generally, and a raft of mildly amusing or simply rubbish comedy films that are marketed as being a laugh a minute.

    1. cambsukguy

      Apart from a few exceptions we get few truly funny comedies on TV (The Big Bang Theory is not funny and nor was Friends) so the few funny movies a year are important.

      A movie with lots of funny moments counts too, even if the overall movie is not good enough to warrant the 'funny movie' tag itself.

      This is, in part, because an 'Unlimited' card makes going to the movies 'free' so it is easier to forgive blandness and clichés etc.

      1. John H Woods

        "(The Big Bang Theory is not funny and nor was Friends)" ---cambsukguy

        if you can sit through an episode of either without laughing at least once, I'm not sure your opinion on what is funny is going to be of much use to me. It might be a bit easier to see where you are coming from if you told us what you do find funny.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          if you're over 15

          you will have seen all the jokes in the big bang and spot the ones coming in friends - long before the canned laughter man hits the button. Weeks before in some cases.

          1. John H Woods

            Re: if you're over 15

            There it is again ... the supercilious attitude of those stating "X isn't funny" as a fact when it is quite clear that some people find X funny. You may not find The Big Bang Theory funny, but it really isn't because you are cleverer than every single person who does; you just have a different sense of humour. (NB: I'm not saying TBBT fans are cleverer than you, either.)

            As for your own attempt at humour, spotting the jokes "long before the canned laughter man hits the button. Weeks before in some cases" ... really, don't give up the day job. This sort of unoriginal, highly formulaic prose lends very little to your implied claim about having a much more sophisticated appreciation for comedy.

            [Edit: and doesn't everybody know that TBBT is filmed live without canned laughter?]

            1. Shannon Jacobs

              General Theory of Relatively Funny things

              My latest theory (with a tip of the hat to Dave Gutteridge) is that humor is linked to learning. Part of the instinctive reinforcement mechanism that drives children to play games and laugh while they are developing survival skills. it even applies to slapstick: It's funny because we are learning how to avoid the pains of getting hit and falling down. Also explains the dearth of rightwing humor: They don't WANT to learn anything that might upset their prejudices and ignorance.

              1. Andy 73

                Re: General Theory of Relatively Funny things

                I thought that dearth of right wing humour was because they were all out getting jobs and didn't have time to hang around student bars trying to get into the knickers of the cute girl on the Revue committee?

                There really is a humour problem for the posters who're trying to prove how sophisticated they are by taking apart comedy on the Register Forums. Take the hint from the original review - you can describe why you find something funny for the benefit of others who find the same things funny. You can't make something 'not funny' because you're simply excluding yourself from the group.

      2. David Glasgow

        "The Big Bang Theory is not funny"

        Ah. OK. Sorry. My mistake.

        And there's me thinking those "ha ha ha" sounds coming out of my mouth meant that I find it funny. Perhaps we should alert everyone else who is similarly mistaken?

        Could take a while.

  3. Diogenes

    Enjoyed it

    Mrs D and I sat there with a smile throughout with a few lol moments and the odd roflmao moment. It was a good night out.

    On an unrelated comment, we didn't go the movies at all last year it was all "meh", this year 5 times so far (Mrs D has seen 3 more, (chick flicks/romcoms ) with her boss .

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Saw it last night

    in rural Colorado (Grand Junction). The audience didn't get who Miranda was or that Jason S was sending up most of his past roles very well. However the movie passed the Kermode and Mayo 6 laughts test withing the first 10 mins so the film went down very well although I was laughing at bits the yanks didn't get and vice-versa.

    A good romp and it is nice to see a Plus sized heroine take on the Size Zero matchsticks.

    Some of the local TV reviews (made typically by size 1 or 2 blondes) were not good but I could tell that the audience enjoyed it.

    1. DuncanL

      Re: Saw it last night

      And hello to Jason Isaacs....

      1. Durwin

        Re: Saw it last night

        Ah! A fellow Wittertainee ! <cough> Arsenal.

        1. Jock in a Frock

          Re: Saw it last night

          And how do you do Snapchat?

          1. D@v3

            Re: Saw it last night

            you just do snapchat (or get a teenager to do it)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Spy" takes an awfully long run up ..

    .. to get to the enjoyable stuff.

    In total, the film is enjoyable because the later part of the film is where it comes into its own, but the first part of the film is IMHO characterised by people that want to be funny and go through the "how to be funny" list for aspiring actors motions than actually are, the sort of effect you get when a marketing executive had been told that the ad MUST be funny but has no idea of how to make that happen.

    Maybe I'm too used to intelligent British humour (yes, not a fat of Ricky Gervais either), but I had a fight with myself to stick with it for the first 30 minutes. After that it got a lot better so guess all is well that ends well as the remainder was worth ploughing through the predictable first part.

    So I'd give it 4 out of 5: good, could do better.

    Project T was in that respect more interesting, in a way it made me think of The Age of Stupid that led to the 10:10 campaign.

  6. TheProf Silver badge

    I saw the trailer

    and I won't be going to see the film.

    I read the review in the Sunday People (apparently it's classed as a newspaper in the UK) and they only gave it 3 out of 5. I thought they'd have enjoyed it more.

    1. Mike Bell

      Re: I saw the trailer

      The movie is much better than its trailer. Really funny stuff. I concur with the reviewer.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I laughed like Mutley throughout

    Brilliant film.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gross-out movie?

    Not sure what that is, but makes me think I'll pass on this one thank you very much...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gross-out movie?

      I didn't find anything particularly gross out. There are no more than a couple of skits which may cause minor 'ewww' factor but they are within character and context and certainly not endemic throughout.

  9. Cynic_999


    One theory is that it is a reaction we have when events pan out differently to how we anticipate that a situation or series of events will conclude - or (to a lesser extent) indirectly when we can see that something is going to happen to someone else that they obviously did not expect to happen. The greater the divergence from expectation, the more humorous it is. It is the result of a conflict that arises in our brain when we find that our perception of reality or our reasoning is apparently flawed.

    As such it depends on an individual's experience & world-view as to whether they find something funny or not. A baby's first laugh is usually invoked when a parent or carer does something that is completely different to how the baby has come to expect that person to behave, and a laugh is the result when the brain does not know whether to smile (at the familiar sight & touch of a parent) or cry (when that same person does something frightening).

  10. Rick Brasche

    seems familiar

    Scarecrow and Mrs. King, anyone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: seems familiar

      "Scarecrow and Mrs. King, anyone?"

      Ummm - no. Completely different.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022