Melissa McCarthy has had a very turbulent career lately. Yes, she was on Gilmore Girls but she really blew up with comedies like Bridesmaids. But then she started doing pretty mediocre comedies like Identity Thief and Tammy. So can Spy be the movie to bring her career back on track?
Susan Cooper (McCarthy) is a CIA agent but she works in an underground basement and helps to support the agents out in the field, most notably Bradley Fine (Jude Law). Well things go sideways and the big bad Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) ends up with a nuclear weapon and all the identities of the CIA agents in the field, so there’s no choice but send out some of their untested agents (who aren’t compromised) into action. Cooper goes alone but crossed paths occasionally with the stubborn agent who doesn’t care that his identity is known, Rick Ford (Jason Statham). We also meet a few other characters including Bobby Cannavale, Morena Baccarin, Peter Serafinowicz, and Miranda Hart.
I wasn’t expecting greatness here. But I got something really fun and surprisingly witty.
Melissa McCarthy is an absolute killer here, completely redeeming herself from her past few flops. In the moments when she’s mild-mannered Susan Cooper, she’s perfect, but she also manages to really sell it when she kicks into bad-ass mode and starts taking names. And her chemistry with all of the leading men is fantastic. Her and Statham especially have some great back and forths (and a hilarious yet short post-credits scene).
Speaking of Statham, he is awesome here, playing a role almost making fun of all his other roles in films like The Transporter and The Expendables. Every line he says is gold and his execution is perfect. I do wish he got some real action scenes but he was mostly there for laughs.
In terms of plot, the story wasn’t actually all that cliche. The moments it was, it felt like a satire of real spy movies so it still managed to work.
What didn’t work?
They added this other basement computer agent to help McCarthy’s character, played by Miranda Hart, but I never really got attached to this character and found her escapades to be a little distracting and sometimes downright annoying.
And even though it’s a satire of the spy genre, some of this can feel repetitive and cliche. I didn’t mind though, since it felt cleverly done.
Spy surprised me with how good it was. I laughed… a lot. McCarthy nailed it, but Statham, Byrne, and Serafinowicz all had some great moments. Good action, good chase scenes, some nice twists and turns in the story… This was a fun movie plain and simple. Nothing extremely unique but it understands the spy genre and satirizes it perfectly.