“I’m immune to 127 different types of poisons, which I know from being undercover in an underground poison ingesting ring.. It’s like dog fighting except instead of dogs it’s people ingesting poison.”
Susan Cooper is an unassuming, desk bound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner falls off the grid and another top agent is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global crisis.
Melissa Mccarthy has a certain brand of humor that people either seem to love or hate. Bouncing around from role to role, meandering in the shallow end, she has yet to brandish anything new and has seemingly resigned herself to the over the top physical humor that plays mostly on her weight. Spy, based on its marketing, looked to be more of the same, yet somehow it turns that quirkiness on it’s head and we’re left with a capable Mccarthy giving us her best comedic performance since Bridesmaids.
Spoof films are a dime a dozen, but well done spoof films, are becoming an endangered species. Not since Austin Powers have we seen such an impressively humorous take on the espionage genre. Mccarthy is sizzlingly hilarious as CIA agent wannabe Susan Cooper. No stranger in taking the easy way out in her comedy, generally nipping at the low hanging fruit riffing on her weight or appearance, instead this time around we get a brash and bold version of herself that oozes confidence and perseverance, and best of all, she is really really funny. For as good as Mccarthy is, Statham is every bit as good. Essentially mocking himself with satire on his own tough guy persona, Statham has surprisingly solid comedic timing for someone who has basically never done a straight comedy in his career, but his character is perfectly humorous and goofy, but never over the top, say for one small issue towards the end of the film.
The rest of the cast is admirable in their efforts, while ultimately sitting pretty in the shadows of Mccarthy and Statham. Rose Byrne is delightfully and seductively evil with her rendition of an amusing Bond type villain complete with big hair and a self awareness unparalleled. Miranda Hart as Nancy is delightful as the punchy sidekick. Peter Serafinowicz as Aldo somehow makes a slew of sexually harassing jokes work to perfection, and even the cameo of 50 cent works into the comedic firestorm. The film is handled with a raunchy deftness and precision that makes for one of the funniest most entertaining films of the year.
Spy is a film that focuses heavily on women. Providing a vehicle for some of the female cast to serve up some of the funniest arcs in a film this year. Director Paul Feig impressively handles this majority female cast, allowing for the talent to to unfold naturally, and finally giving Mccarthy a chance to break away from her stereotypical heavy lady roles to allow her to embrace some badassdom and still be self aware of her physical limitations, finally living up to her Chris Farley like potential. Byrne and Hart are both amazingly funny, and add to an impressive set of women who are not only funny but also surprisingly strong and capable for a film like this. Feig decided to turn the spy genre on it’s head with Spy and give these ladies a chance to shine.
The cast was amazing, the story was impressive, the writing was smart, and the direction was superb. Walking into this film, there were some preconceived notions regarding mccarthy and Feig, that hindered the outlook a bit, but the final product was a surprise, and were given a supremely intelligent spoof the likes of which we have not seen. This is Melissa Mccarthy’s film all the way, she swiftly steals the show with each wholly inappropriate onslaught of expletives she heaves at her male counterparts. She is extremely quick witted and sharp, to a degree that we haven’t seen since her Bridesmaids days. Byrne re enters the comedy world with a bang giving us the perfect spin on the mustache twirling villain. Then of course there is Statham. Yes this is Mccarthy’s film, but Statham is not looking to play second fiddle to anyone, as he delivers some of the most amusing quips the film has to offer. Spy is a starkly original satire on the James Bond era of films, giving us devilishly scintillating two hours of laughs and excitement, looking to be the surprise comedy smash of the year, even keeping pace with former summer comedy mega hits like 22 Jump Street and Neighbors.
4/5 Pretty Cool Bro