Dave Bautista is a spy who teams with a plucky young girl in the knockabout comedy My Spy, out now in Cineworld. The Guardians of the Galaxy star plays veteran CIA operative JJ, whose cover is blown by resourceful kid Sophie (Chloe Coleman) – prompting an unlikely chalk and cheese partnership to take down the bad guys. So get ready with these five other spy comedies.
1. Top Secret! (1984)
Before he was Ice Man in Top Gun, Val Kilmer turned in a memorably deadpan performance in this classic comedy from the creators of Airplane! Kilmer plays Nick Rivers, an American rocker who travels to East Germany, only to become embroiled in all manner of World War II shenanigans. There are too many side-splitting scenes to mention, but the one involving Hammer horror veteran Peter Cushing and everyone talking backwards is both hilarious and oddly creepy.
2. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Mike Myers' shagadelic super-spy creation roars into life in this, the first and best of the Austin Powers trilogy. (We're still waiting for official confirmation of a fourth.) Hairy of chest and yellow of teeth, Powers is a brilliant spoof of not just James Bond, but also Michael Caine's bespectacled agent Harry Palmer from The Ipcress File. Fitting, therefore, that Caine would cameo as Powers' dad in film number three, Austin Powers in Goldmember. Even so, the show is stolen every time by Powers' bumbling nemesis Dr. Evil (Myers again), whose "$100 million" blackmail schemes never quite come to fruition.
3. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
Colin Firth and Taron Egerton make for an irresistible pairing in the first of the Kingsman movies. It's adapted by director Matthew Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman from Mark Millar's graphic novel, mixing buddy banter with extreme violence as Egerton's gobby character Eggsy is mentored by Harry Hart (Firth) in the art of being a spy. In the manner of the classic Bond movies, style is everything, and appropriately enough, the Kingsman agency disguises itself behind a Savile Row tailors shop. Not that this decorum matters during the notorious church meltdown sequence, where a brainwashed Firth goes on a killing spree – it's indicative of the film's willingness to tear up the template. Kingsman 3 is said to be on the cards and origin story The King's Man, starring Ralph Fiennes and Harris Dickinson, arrives this September.
4. Spy (2015)
Melissa McCarthy and director Paul Feig first collaborated, to brilliant effect on Bridesmaids – in fact, McCarthy was Oscar-nominated for her performance. The prospect of them tackling a Bond-style espionage actioner was, therefore, highly anticipated, and it didn't disappoint. McCarthy is endearing as the desk jockey compelled to venture into the field to help locate a nuclear bomb, only the twist is she already has the fighting skills under her belt. It's just she's been hiding her light under a bushel, something that presents an issue when she clashes with Jason Statham's riotously funny rogue agent Rick Ford. Action veteran Statham steals the show, hook, line and sinker, and his scenes with McCarthy reach a sublime level of comic insanity.
5. Central Intelligence (2016)
Dwayne Johnson pairs with Cineworld favourite Kevin Hart for a mismatched buddy comedy that involves guns – lots of guns. Johnson's character has gone from being the high school bullying target to an implausibly buff secret agent, and Hart is the fellow school chum he brings along for the ride. The movie brilliantly contrasts not just the physical dynamic between the two actors but also the marked difference in their mannerisms – Johnson is brawny yet gregarious, Hart, nervous and flighty, and this magic chemistry would later take flight in the two Jumanji films.
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