Your mission, Melissa, is to make us all crack up - Spy is showcased at Royston Picture Palace

PUBLISHED: 20:28 14 July 2015

Melissa McCarthy and Amanda Hart in Spy

Melissa McCarthy and Amanda Hart in Spy

Archant

Since her breakthrough role in Bridesmaids Melissa McCarthy has been climbing steadily up the Hollywood pecking order with co-star roles in comedies picked to showcase her ebullient energy and deft delivery.

There’s not much that’s understated in what she does, but that suits a story like Spy – this weekend’s marquee screening at Royston’s Picture Palace – down to the ground.

She’s a behind the scenes CIA star, sorting out the nuts and bolts of dangerous missions from behind her desk while showboating blokes grab all the glory at the sharp end.

And when she is forced to go undercover when suave Bond stand-in Jude Law comes to a sticky end at the hands of the villain of the piece (Rose Byrne from the X-Men series) there are predictable fish out of water gags before the expected if unlikely triumph.

It’s all forgettable fun from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig but Jason Statham is good value in a straight-faced self-parody of his hard man screen persona, and there’s also a place on the cast list for Miranda Hart who doesn’t yet look entirely comfortable on the big screen.

The film is showing at 7.30pm on Saturday night, and you can book tickets online at www.roystonpicturepalace.org.uk.

Showing on Friday night at the same time is Queen & Country, John Boorman’s follow-up to the 1987 hit Hope & Glory.

The first film, based on the director’s own experiences growing up in the Second World War, featured a memorable scene in which the nine-year-old hero cheered on the Luftwaffe overhead when a stray bomb blew up his school.

The new film picks up the story nearly 10 years on, with the war over but conflict continuing.

Now the spindly little lad is a strapping teenager, and he’s starting basic training for his National Service with the prospect of a posting to Korea around the corner.

He and his trouble-making mate never get near the front line but their manoeuvres to outwit their martinet sergeant major (David Thewlis) make for enjoyable viewing and Richard E. Grant as their commander is always worth watching.

Boorman – probably still best known for city boy survival drama Deliverance – is now 82 and this, his first film for the best part of a decade, may be his last silver screen outing.

It’s a well-rounded piece that highlights the human effect of war with sensitivity but also humour, with Callum Turner impressing in the central role.

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