Dorian's Movie Reviews & Critiques
Is it worth seeing? Reviews are presented with no cynicism, no comparisons, no biased standards, no pretentiousness - every movie is reviewed on its individual entertainment value including technical presentation.
Note that a critique for writers follows the review.
Captivating, beginning to end. Can a female, overweight, CIA analyst, who sat behind a desk all day for 10 years, actually go out and stand the rigors of a James Bond style field agent assignment? Maybe. Oh, right, this is comedy. Definitely. And Melissa McCarthy (agent Susan Cooper) makes it look real.
What would a field agent be without a love interest? Voila, agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law), who in the past depended on her as ears and eyes, but otherwise doesn't know she exists. And there's the plot. If he didn't exist, what would Cooper do in his name? Cooper inevitably begs for the mission, and since she won't be recognized like all of the others, she gets it.
If the other field agents would just cooperate, she could accomplish the mission. Rick Ford (Jason Statham), believes he is the agent's agent, the epitome of all agentness, but is refused the job because he will be recognized. But just to make sure the untried and exasperatingly ill-prepared Cooper doesn't flub the mission, he goes rogue and manages to be the foil to every strategy.
The target has to be rich, treacherous, over-confident, well dressed, and surrounded by body guards. And of course beautiful and sexy - everything that Cooper fears she will never attain. Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) is just that.
The rollicking action never stops. The audience laughed out loud numerous times.
Grab your popcorn before you sit down - you're in for a wild ride and if you miss any of it, you miss a good laugh.
Movies have to be way good for me to rate them a 9, and this comedy earned it.
Technical and critique
My comments below attempt to draw attention to technical things that make a movie good, especially if they made major contributions. I do all of these things, but for professional judgments on these various arts, the reader should consult professionals in these arts, and realize that these notes are not part of the overall rating for entertainment value.
Story critique: what worked well, what didn't, and why?
The story was plausible for a comedy most of the time, so character actions didn't bump the audience out of the fictional dream.
Critique: Cooper's ability to fly a jet and a helicopter were a bit over the top - probably should have been talked through by an expert, except maybe for the control yoke and helicopter joy stick. The agent who kept groping Cooper was overdone and tiresome. The other agent shooting from a helicopter was also a bit of a stretch.
The story doesn't reflect the real operating structure of the C.I.A., which is probably a good thing.
The first scenes let us know immediately that this was a comedy. It was a parody of other spy movies in which agents are talked through a locale by those watching. Excellent. We didn't get set up for something else and then disappointed. Good opening. No real motif that I noticed.
The lights went out, Jason Statham did his thing - we knew from his persona what to expect and didn't need to see it. Very well done, although I'm not a fan of actor stereotypes carrying over into other stories. Yet in this story, because he didn't do what we expected him to, and we knew what he could do, this was acceptable. I liked Statham in this role.
My reviews are not based much on my personal taste, or any standard besides entertainment value. I try to be as objective as possible, keeping in mind that entertainment value is very subjective and individualized. If I'm not interested in a movie I usually don't go see it, so it doesn't get reviewed. Each character, and each position in the production company might be highlighted if the contribution affected the enjoyment of the story as either outstanding or dismal and I noticed it, keeping in mind that many contributions are singularly distinguished by their seamless integration with the story, not calling attention to themselves and thereby escaping attention.
- Dorian Scott Cole
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