Spy ***1/2

“Spy” is simply hilarious. I can’t say it any plainer than that. It hits the funny bone with a hammer. The experience reminded me of the first time I saw “Dumb And Dumber” and “There’s Something About Mary”. I felt cleansed by the end of this movie.

 

Melissa McCarthy play Susan Cooper. She works at the CIA essentially as an analyst and as support for field agents. She is in love with CIA agent Bradley Fine played by Jude Law. There is a hilarious moment at the beginning of the movie when Agent Fine accidentally shoots a terrorist when he sneezes. Susan promptly reminds him that he should of taken his allergy medicine.

 

When all field agents are compromised, Susan steps up to the plate. The plan is that she will go undercover because the terrorists probably don’t even know she exists. Her various cover stories, provided by the invaluable Allison Janney as Susan’s boss, are usually as some sort of lonely divorcee on vacation which does not help Susan with her self esteem. Susan’s friend and coworker, played by Miranda Hart also joins her in the field.

 

Susan proves to be a good agent almost immediately when she shows her skills in combat as well as her resourcefulness under pressure. She is underestimated by everyone in the film. Especially by other CIA agents such as Rick Ford played by Jason Statham. He has the funniest moment in the film when he describes all the outrageous things he has done in the field. Those include having his arm ripped off and him reattaching it himself with his other arm. I Especially howled when he mentioned that he took up piano at a late age.

 

Most of the scenes belong to McCarthy. I loved her in “Bridesmaids”. I was not very impressed with her in “Identity Thief” or “The Heat” and I might of been the only one who enjoyed “Tammy”. The movies I liked her in were roles where she was not asked to be as obnoxious as possible. In “Spy” she plays a smart character. She tends to face all the superficiality around her with a brave smile that sees through all the shallow people. I like that she is breaking down barriers.

 

Most action movies are lead by male characters. There are a select few woman who we are told can hold their own. “Spy” is a pretty great action movie and McCarthy holds her own well. I liked her in the chases and fight scenes. It is sort of liberating to watch her take charge and put a hurt-in on the villains.


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