Friday, May 29, 2015

Hitch Goes to the Movies: Spy

-This article is more about my experience than a review-

Through a long series of events, I became a member of a group called "Gofobo." If you haven't heard of them, basically you get sent free tickets to preview screenings of upcoming movies. The downside of the program, it is first come, first serve. I've missed out on screenings I actually wanted to see, like Mad Max or Avengers, because by the time I got the notification about the screening, the tickets were gone. While other movies, like the movie we're going to be discussing later, were pretty easy to grab since nobody wanted to see it.

I was originally going to pass up seeing Spy. I'm not a fan of Melissa McCarthy or the film's director Paul Feig. No real reason. I just don't care for their style of humor. A lot of it comes across as "Poop Jokes for Women." It's just not for me, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. So going into this movie, I had an idea of what I was getting myself into.

Although I forgot about one important detail, the conditions of which I would be seeing this movie.

You see, one of "Gofobo's" biggest problems outside of the "First come, First Serve" system are its guest. They jam pack the theater with anybody who's willing to go. This includes pulling in drunks out of the bar next door to the theater when the turnout is far less than what they expected. That was the crowd I had to experience this movie with a room full of intoxicated chuckleheads. I've had bad theater experiences before, but this one was easily in the top five.

Rodger Ebert once wrote a review on a slasher movie (I forget which one) where he judged the movie solely on the audience's reaction. He was completely disgusted by how the audience was enjoying the film they were watching. How could people get such joy and entertainment out of this filth? Were they mentally deranged or just sick psychopaths looking for a quick fix to satisfy their bloodlust? I've always thought that was an unfair review. Until I saw this movie with this audience.

This audience laughed at every single joke in this movie. Office woman eats cake covered with bat droppings. Hahaha! McCarthy falls over riding a motorcycle. Hahaha! Her knockout gadget is disguised as hemorrhoid wipes. Hahaha! McCarthy says, "I'll rip your dick off and staple it to your head so you'll look like a limb dick unicorn." Hahaha! This continued through out the entire movie. Very joke got a laugh and it was rare when the movie actually deserved to get a chuckle out of anybody.

Now would be the best time to talk about the joker who sat next to me during the movie. We'll call him Doug for the sake of the article. Doug came into the movie 20 minutes late. He stumbled up the stairs with his buddy to the top row where I was sitting. The whole time Doug and his buddy where doing a drunken whisper that could of been heard in the next theater over. Something along the lines of, "Oh man, dude, I told you we'd make it before the movie started." The moment he sat down I was instantly hit with the stench of cheep alcohol and pot. A smell that became all too familiar to me after my years in art school. But these were no artist. More along the lines of cheap morons looking to dull their senses further than they already fell. While the audience laughing at this dribble was bad enough, Doug would lurch his body forward and produce a big belly laugh, slapping his friend's knee, "Limp Dick Unicorn! Oh Bro, she said Limp Dick Unicorn!" As if the idea of a woman simply saying the word, "dick" was a masterful piece of comedic genius that rivals the works of George Carlin or Robin Williams. Imagine the worst type of human scum you could think of and you'll get a glimpse of Doug. Proudly announcing that he screw any hot woman that came on screen, to freaking out at seeing an actual penis on screen for half a second.

Doug was approached by security at one point, but because I was sitting next to him, Doug's commentary was still being whispered in my ear throughout. I could not change seats because as stated at the beginning of this article, they jammed that theater with as many people as possible. While I've dealt with worse theater audiences (thanks little toddler who was pulling on my hair thought out last year's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Doug was what made this movie a very difficult viewing experience. But I did my best to tune him out and focus on the movie.

Oh, you properly wanting to know how the movie was.  It's not very good. Extremely predictable plot and even worse telegraphed gags throughout. There's one funny character in the movie that works and that's Jason Statham. He's basically playing an extreme parody of his movie persona, an over the top badass who brags about breaking the laws of physics, nature, biology and God himself to over come his missions. He's a funny character and I wish the movie was about him. But outside of that, the movie is ultimately forgettable. It doesn't do anything too obnoxious to be considered terrible, but it does nothing to warrant seeing this in theaters.

The only real criticism, I'm going to give this film is this, I think the movie would work better if it wasn't a comedy. Follow me on this one. McCarthy's character is more or less talked into a desk job providing Jude Law's character information when he goes out on missions for the CIA. But here's the kicker, when McCarthy went to the CIA's version of boot camp, she excelled in all fields, including combat ability and weapons handling. She was never given orders to go out on field missions because no one at the CIA believed in her abilities, and Law's character got the idea into her head that she'd never be good enough. So you have this good set up for a film about an overweight woman being constantly belittled because of her appearance, and she's given this chance to prove she's more than capable of performing her duties to her superiors and most importantly herself, but the movie plays it all as a joke. Not once does this movie give McCarty's character the dignity that the character deserves. When she single handedly takes out an enemy spy by throwing him off of a building, instead of giving the character a moment of victory or triumph, they have her character vomit all over his dead body. It's not even a funny scene. All it does is belittle the character even further.

And here's where I'm gonna get a little preachy.

Women don't have a lot of positive role models who are heavy set. Actually forget role models, the number of heavy set female heroes is so small, it's almost nonexistent. So you have this movie that comes out and it presents the idea of creating what is more or less a heavy set
Lady James Bond. But instead of promoting the idea that these types of women are kick ass, capable fighters, it plays this as yet another fat joke. Why can't we have a confident character who breaks through social stigmatism and show these types of people are worth a damn? Why must these women be forced into the role of a clown because of their weight? It's not fair. And what's worse, this movie could of fought that stereotype, but it didn't. The movie became that friend who claims to have your back, but still embarrasses you during prom to get in with the cool kids. It's not right and Hollywood needs to get out of this "fat people are clowns" mind set.

So do I recommend Spy? Nope, just go see Mad Max again.

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