Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Allison Janney
Director: Paul Feig
Running time: 1 hour and 57 minutes
This is just like any other movie where an unlikely hero is forced to step up and save the day. In Spy that unlikely hero is Melissa McCarthy, who is a CIA analyst. After every active agent is compromised she has to go out in the field and save the mission. Sounds familiar, right? Right, but it's also kind of good.
After the first 10 minutes, which were a little slow in my opinion, the movie picks up the pace and starts getting pretty funny. There are a number of jokes that will make you chuckle or at least entertain you and a couple of jokes that will make you straight up laugh (mostly involving Jason Statham). It's not the most memorable comedy but it's good Thursday night action movie.
Speaking of funny, when you think Jason Statham, funny is not the first thing that pops into your head, but I have to say his character and his interactions with Melissa McCarthy where the moments in the movie that I found the most compelling. Their banter is very fun and he is not afraid to embrace the over-the-top nature of this role. I wish he had more screen time and I hope he gets the opportunity to get more roles like this in the future.
Another aspect of Spy that I particularly enjoyed where the moments when Susan got to be a badass and order Rose Byrne's character around. The different lines that she came up with were hilariously mean and creative and the fact that Raina couldn't say anything back made it that much more entertaining. Melissa McCarthy isn't the first protagonist to rise to greatness from the depths of insignificance but she is certainly a good one.
As expected, Susan Cooper had a crush on a handsome, talented and stereotypically “out of her league” colleague a.k.a. Jude Law, who never saw her in a romantic light and could have any woman he wanted. Bradley Fine, however, was not as perfect as the majority of handsome, talented and stereotypically “out of her league” colleagues tend to be in this kind of movie. He was great at his job and a good friend to Susan but, also, a selfish prick who convinced her to stay in the basement as an analyst, when he knew she had potential, in order to fulfill his own selfish ambitions. He was a more complicated and three-dimensional character than a lot, even though he was absent for a great deal of the movie.
In a movie where there is a mission and bad guys and CIA agents and everything else that goes along with the kind of movie Spy is, there are bound to be some fights and some kills. Even though I though those fights were well made and established Susan as an even stronger woman protagonist, I couldn't get over the fact that in every stabbing or shooting there would be one or two drops of blood and that was it. Speaking from my limited knowledge of forensic anatomy and physiology I have to argue that when a person is shot or stab to death he, sure, bleeds a lot more than that.
Now, let's get back to Jason Statham's character. Even though I found him appealing as a character, I couldn't help but root for him to succeed and prove himself. As established from what we knew about him, Ford was a loud, over-the-top, sometimes reckless, in his attempt to prove he is better than everyone else, agent. But he was still a CIA agent and there wasn't a moment that would justify that in this movie. I don't think government agents tend to be self-obsessed goofs that can't get anything right and, always, need someone to save them, but that's just me.
Finally, speaking about unbelievable little Spy sub-stories, I don't understand the running joke about how Melissa McCarthy's character knew things that would be impossible for her to know. For example how she could find a shortcut in the middle of nowhere in Budapest while she had never lived there. If that was an attempt to mock the stereotypical action movie, I don't think it was a very good one.
In conclusion, do I think Spy is one of the great comedies? No. Do I think it's a fine way to spend a nice quite night? Most definitely.
Score: 69%Tomatometer: 95%
20th Century FOX