Friday, February 24, 2017

Spy Time (2015) - Foreign Film Friday

Number Rolled: 83
Movie Name/Year: Spy Time (2015) [aka Anacleto: Agente Secreto]
Tagline: They always hit the target.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Thriller
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production Companies: Agente Secreto 2015, Telefonica Studios, Zeta Audiovisual
Producer: Gabriel Arias-Salgado, Eneko Gutierrez, Axel Kuschevatzky, Jaime Ortiz de Artinano, Francisco Ramos, Oriol Sala-Patau
Director: Javier Ruiz Caldera
Writer: Fernando Navarro, Pablo Alen, Breixo Corral, Manuel Vazquez Gallego
Actors: Imanol Arias, Quim Gutierrez, Alexandra Jimenez, Berto Romero, Carlos Areces, Eduardo Gomez, Dani El Rojo, Emilio Gutierrez Caba, Rossy de Palma, Silvia Abril, Toni Sevilla, Gilbert Bosch, Qihui Zhu, Daniel Ripolles, Daniel Arias
Stunt Doubles: Javi Cornelio, Oscar Dorta, Sara Leal, Marc Padro

Speech Available: Spanish (Spain)
Subtitles Available: English, Traditional Chinese, French, German, Spanish (Spain)

Blurb from Netflix: When his girlfriend dumps him for being a bore, a working stiff discovers that his father is a secret agent and a dangerous thug is targeting them.

Selina’s Point of View:
Spy Time is a classic spy spoof film. If you’re hoping for something along the lines of the James Bond films (1962 - ) this is not the right movie for you. It had a lot of the action that you would expect from that kind of film, but it’s like comparing Scream (1996) to Halloween (1978). You get a lot of the same scares, but most of the film is spent taking jabs at the predictability of the tropes.

I could have watched this film without subtitles and still been able to keep up. That’s not because I understand Spanish, it’s because I’ve seen the storyline roughly several hundred times. That should tell you how closely the project stuck to the recipe. However, because they put that spoofy spin on it, and the creators didn’t take themselves too seriously, it was elevated beyond what the finished product should have been.

I greatly enjoyed it.

The jokes were funny, the script was amusing, the actors were good, and a lot of the scenes were relatively beautiful to look at. I was also pretty impressed with the fight choreography. In spoof-like films you don’t always get a lot of attention to detail where the choreography is concerned, and it hurts the end product. That just wasn’t an issue in this film.

Although no one actor specifically stood out to me, it’s because I was continuously absorbed in the story. The end took some turns that even tugged it away from where you’d expect the recipe to go, which also heightened my enjoyment.

I would absolutely recommend this film.

Cat’s Point of View:
This was an exciting selection for Foreign Film Friday. I was seriously crossing my fingers that it would live up to its name. I’m a sucker for secret agent movies.

If you’re looking for straight-laced action, though – this isn’t your movie. I think it was fantastic that this film didn’t take itself too seriously. One of the genre bylines on the Netflix description said ‘absurd.’ It wasn’t really wrong. It was just the right balance of ridiculousness, however. If you go too far in that direction, you get something like Top Secret (1984) or The Naked Gun (1988). I think this stayed fairly middle of the road.

I found it interesting that this was actually a comic book movie. The main character of this film, Anacleto, was the subject of a comic strip from the 60s in Spain. It was intentionally a parody of Ian Fleming’s famous Bond character. There is a scene in the movie where sketches appear on the walls in a room – those are from the comic.

Learning that little tidbit also helped explain why it was a little harder for me to follow along with the Spanish being spoken, so that I had to read the subtitles more often than not. One reason is the actors spoke really fast quite a bit – but the main reason was difference in dialect. Spanish from Spain is different than Spanish from Mexico. It’s a bit more involved than the difference between someone having a ‘southern drawl’ or the accent of the far Northern states near Canada.

Speaking of language, I’m happy to report that the subtitles had me fairly giddy. They were over the movie, but well defined and in a yellowish color. They were also generally accurate to the actual dialogue, from what parts I could discern.

The production team made an excellent choice casting Imanol Arias (Besos de gato, Mentiras, Paper Birds) as Anacleto. He pulled off the silver fox secret agent vibe seemingly with ease. I really enjoyed his chemistry with his whiny on-screen son, played by Quim Gutiérrez (Without You, Sangre de Mayo, The Last Days).

I saw shades of Maggie Siff (Push, The 5th Wave, Mad Men) from her role in Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014) in Alexandra Jiménez’s (Ghost Graduation, We Are Pregnant, Born to Win) character. It’s actually a bit eerie how they somewhat resemble each other. I’m afraid I can’t illustrate my point very well without giving away spoilers, so maybe check the movie out and see for yourself!

I’d gladly watch this one again and would recommend it in a heartbeat as some good action-comedy fun.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 35%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

P.S. An extra scene just at the start of the credits after the word “Anacleto” pops up.

Movie Trailer:

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