Director Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy sure do bring out the best in one another. When they team up, everything seems to flow with ease while creating cutting-edge comedy that can make audiences gasp and laugh simultaneously. But what makes Spy different than Feig’s other films (Bridesmaids, The Heat) is McCarthy is not playing second-fiddle to anyone. She comes in to her own by kicking ass while using her talent and rowdy humor to her advantage in every scene. Spy is evidence when given the right script and absolute freedom, she can be the astounding A-lister she is meant to be.
McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, a dangerous C.I.A. agent in an earpiece. She’s Bradley Fine’s (Jude Law) right-hand woman and is the uncelebrated hero in all of their deadly missions. However, she’s trapped in a cubicle never being allowed out in the field where all of the action is. The tables are turned once news is received of a nuclear weapon being sold to the highest bidder on the black market by Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), who is continuing where her nasty terrorist father left off. Fine being the daring, courageous agent that he is, wastes no time going in after her yet he falls right in to her trap. Fine goes down and the rest of the field agents are compromised including Rick Ford (Jason Statham), a ticking time bomb hungry for revenge. The love Susan has for Fine cannot be hidden any longer and pushes her to take a stand and go deep undercover to simply track and report. Spoiler alert: She ends up doing a hell of a lot more than that.
With all of its vicious humor and brutal violence, Spy is indisputably an action-comedy that rolls with the punches and never scared to throw them right back. Feig tackles 007 and turns the spy thriller in to an empowerment for women where they aren’t taking a backseat, but instead behind the wheel with their foot on the pedal to the floor. There’s a reason some of the best little comedic moments come from McCarthy and Byrne. Their banter exceeds bitchy and cuts deep, which means it’s hilarious for all of us. The rest of the cast deserves all the recognition, but Statham is the most surprising of them all. The tough-ass, ultra charged fighter completely derides his persona by playing a disastrous agent who comes close to ruining almost every mission. A role where he doesn't take himself too seriously is refreshingly impressive. Props to him.
Spy is a narration of espionage like we have never witnessed before. It's outrageous but fun as hell, and the cast is more than committed to the ridiculousness. But as we are laughing, we are reminded by legit tantalizing action sequences that this is no spoof. It's a force to be reckoned with and its threshold is McCarthy pulling off her most magnetic, versatile role yet.