Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Jude Law, and Rose Byrne
Director: Paul Feig
Writer: Paul Feig
Release Date: May 22, 2015
Rated: R for language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity.
As much as I like and admire Melissa McCarthy, her comedy isn't always for me. I absolutely adored her in Bridesmaids and love it when she hosts SNL, but I couldn't even watch Identity Thief, and haven't even bothered watching Tammy. That said, I was pretty excited to see this when I found out that Paul Feig (who directed Bridesmaids and created the 90s show Freaks and Geeks) both wrote and directed this comedy that star both McCarthy and Byrne.
Spy follows an unassuming woman named Susan Cooper (McCarthy), who while a full-blown CIA agent, spends her time in the "basement" being the eyes and ears of superstar agent Bradley Fine (Law). She is smitten by Fine, who smoozes her with his charm because, as his eyes and ears, she really makes him the superstar that he is. After accidentally killing the only man who knows where a deadly bomb is, Fine tracks down the man's daughter, Rayna, and sneaks into her house. Rayna, in turn, shoots Fine in the head while Susan, through Fine's eye contact's camera, sees the whole thing.
The CIA soon finds out that Rayna knows every undercover agent they have, so they need to find someone who she would never suspect of being an agent. This is where Susan comes in. She is finally going to get her chance to become an undercover agent and reach her full potential instead of just being the woman behind the man.
Spy is pretty funny. I went to the movie with a girl friend and both of us laughed out loud throughout the film. While Susan's hoping to get glamorous undercover identities like all the other agents, she is stuck with identities like super-cat lady and soccer mom. She is also told to observe only, but is thrown deeper into the mix when rouge agent Ford (Statham) gets in the way.
Speaking of Statham, he was easily one of my favorite characters in the film. He is absolutely hilarious in this, which was a surprise. Trying to seem tougher than he is, he is always making up these outlandishly ridiculous stories of the things he's survived--like the time he had to drink over 100 poisons. He and McCarthy play off each other well throughout the film, too, and have great comedic energy.
Honestly, all of the actors are spot on. Byrne, as the bad guy, has this ridiculous hairstyle and evil smirk. She is also painfully thin in this film. Growing up I was super skinny, so I'm sensitive to this and definitely don't condone body-shaming in any capacity, but I was alarmed by how tiny she is in the film. Anyway, Alison Janey (LOVE) is awesome as the no-nonsense CIA director, and Law is well-cast in his small part of roguish spy.
There were a few misses for me. There is a running gag that the basement of the CIA has a rodent problem, with rats running everywhere, which is super unfunny, but for the most part, I really enjoyed this film. If you enjoy McCarthy's brand of humor, this is a no-brainer, but even if you don't, this spy spoof is worth checking out.