Review by Sean Boelman
Although the title would imply something with much less potential, the new comedy Spy Intervention is a quirky and tongue-in-cheek approach to the tropes of a well-worn genre. Thanks to its witty script, charming cast, and inspired direction, this is a surprisingly breezy and often hilarious watch.
The film follows a superspy who decides to settle down into a suburban lifestyle after he meets what seems to be the woman of his dreams, only to discover that he is bored and challenged by this change of pace. Ultimately, this is a pretty straightforward fish-out-of-water comedy set-up, albeit a very funny one at that.
A majority of this movie’s appeal is in its humor, most of which cashes in on the intriguing premise of seeing someone who is seemingly great at everything he does fail so terribly at things that the ordinary person does on a daily basis. However, as the film progresses, it becomes progressively more self-referential, and this is when the movie is most successful.
The first thirty or so minutes are entertaining, but it is the last hour of the film, in which the protagonist struggles to balance his life, that truly stands out. This portion of the movie contains several memorable scenes poking fun at tropes common to spy films, such as one involving a seductive femme fatale threatening the protagonist’s relationship.
Additionally, the movie succeeds in making the audience care about the characters. Admittedly, it is very easy to make a hero like the protagonist of this film sympathetic because viewers are conditioned to root for this type of character, but this movie takes it a step further by giving him a compelling personality beyond his archetypal traits.
Drew Van Acker does a very good job in his leading role, absolutely nailing the qualities of a charming leading man. Even when he’s playing it more uncomfortable as the fish-out-of-water parts demand, he still commands the screen. The supporting cast is also very strong, especially Blake Anderson, as the protagonist’s partner and comedic sidekick, and Poppy Delevigne, as the love interest.
On a technical level, the film is also very interesting. It is obvious that this movie has a rather low budget, but director Drew Mylrea uses his limitations to his advantage, delivering a product that often seems intentionally over-the-top. The production design and cinematography are often very campy, but it works more often than not.
Spy Intervention is unexpectedly funny because of its witty script and unique brand of quirkiness. Although it isn’t groundbreaking, it is likely the best parody of the spy genre since the Austin Powers series.
Spy Intervention is now available on VOD.