Such is the anticipation for the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot that this film was seen by some as a kind of audition, given that it shares the same writer/director Paul Feig and lead actor Melissa McCarthy. If such a test is taken seriously, it comfortably passes, as although it’s a very different kind of film it shares the same feel to it – a fractionally serious genre movie that’s more of an excuse for a character-led comedy with some memorable set pieces. It essentially aims for two fairly straightforward things – comedy and action, and while it manages the first as capably as you would expect given the people involved, it’s also pleasantly surprising and pretty encouraging to see it nail the second.

Melissa McCarthy has long proved herself to be a fine actor, and does more strong work here shouldering most of the film’s physical comedy and character work, but what’s more unexpected is how much mileage there is from Jason Statham essentially making fun of his onscreen persona. It’s all fairly obvious and lowbrow stuff, and the film seems to think that hundreds of fat-shaming jokes are okay as long as the lead character is overweight, which is problematic. Ultimately though, it’s hard to take such a silly film that seriously, and the overall slickness of the whole escapade (the action scenes are good enough to compete with action films, not just comedies) bode well for next year’s all-female ghost-hunting jaunt.

SPY
A typically broad and consistently amusing comedy7
Melissa McCarthy deserves to be on the A-list9
It would be nice if she made a film that wasn't 75% fat jokes one day4
The action set pieces are surprisingly really good8
This all bodes quite well for Ghostbusters8
Bechdel Test Passes
  • Features more than one named female character
  • The female characters talk to each other
  • They talk about something other than men
Bechdel Test Failures
  • n/a
7Overall Score

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