Spy (R) ★★★½

Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne star in "Spy." Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox
Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne star in “Spy.” Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

McCarthy’s Magnificent in Spy

From the director of Bridesmaids and The Heat, Paul Feig presents his latest action-comedy flick, Spy. With Melissa McCarthy (St. Vincent, 2014) at the helm, audiences are in for a treat. McCarthy’s film career basically catapulted after the female version of The Hangover, with Bridesmaids and it’s clear that she doesn’t intend for the momentum to slow down anytime soon. Feig seems to bring out the best in McCarthy and certainly gives her the stage this time around.

McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, an ordinary desk-bound CIA analyst who is the voice of reason behind her partner and one of the CIA’s best agents, Bradley Fine (Jude Law, Black Sea 2014) as she guides him through some of the most dangerous missions, all via satellite. One night, Fine becomes involved in a compromised situation and suddenly falls off of the map. Devastated by Fine’s disappearance and eager to step beyond her desk out into the field, Cooper uncharacteristically volunteers to go undercover to obtain justice for Fine and track down a highly wanted deadly arms dealer.

Her tightly wound boss Elaine (Allison Janney, The DUFFF 2015) restricts her to ‘tracking and reporting,’ while on her Paris assignment. She’s not to make direct contact with the enemy. Let’s just say it wasn’t the super cool action-hero type of assignment she was envisioning. At this rate, maybe she was better off at her desk where rats and bats frequented the office. Cooper’s introduction to the field was pitiful to say the least. Her new identity is a sad, cat-lady with an even sadder wig and pink sweat suit to match. She’s driven through the glamorous streets of Paris before stopping at a questionable Parisian motel where the agency booked her. Cooper quickly finds herself face to face with the beehive-haired, high maintenance Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne, Annie 2014), the wanted woman accused of Fine’s death. Her ‘gadgets’ and ‘weaponry’ consist of falsely labeled stool softeners and hemorrhoid wipes in order to conceal other antidotes. As any McCarthy fan would imagine, this paints the picture for an incredibly hilarious stream of scenarios.

Cooper must be cordial with her assigned and very handsy helper named Aldo (Peter Serafinowicz, Parks and Recreation 2013-2015), who shows her the ropes of the area. He constantly juts in and out of scenes, and never leaves without a flirtatious comment or butt grab. While his antics are funny in the beginning, they get old and redundant in the middle and then better again at the end. The film could also afford to be a bit shorter as some action scenes are drawn out more than necessary. The film’s energy and feminist vibe work well in a film genre historically built for men. It is well scripted and ad-libbed where appropriate.

The likable supporting cast also includes Jason Statham (Furious Seven, 2015) who plays the know-it-all, yet goofball of an agent who continues to pursue the enemy despite recently being fired. Bobby Cannavale (Annie, 2014) plays the suspicious businessman who may have a link to terrorists and 50 Cent also makes a few rare cameos as…himself.

McCarthy and Byrne are a good insult team (they reunited in Spy after Bridesmaids). Audiences could likely watch them make jabs at each other for hours. Plus, the ad-lib and outlandish situations just make their banter even more comical. I’ll be looking forward to the (rumored) sequel, no doubt.

Bottom-Line? Smart, silly and satisfying, Melissa McCarthy shines in Spy. If you are a fan of hers, you will be a fan of this action-comedy.

Cast: Melissa McCarthy (Susan Cooper), Rose Byrne (Raina Boyanov), Jason Statham (Rick Ford), Bobby Cannavale (De Luca), Allison Janney (Elaine Crocker), Jude Law (Bradley Fine), 50 Cent (himself)

Credits: Directed and written by Paul Feig

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Run Time: 117 minutes

Jessica Aymond © June 13, 2015