Spy is the latest collaboration from Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig. They’ve worked together on such films as The Heat and, of course, Bridesmaids.
Melissa McCarthy works at the CIA. She plays Susan Cooper, a support agent for Bradley Fine (Jude Law). Bradley is the perfect spy, suave, smooth, and talented, essentially an American James Bond. Sharon acts as his external eyes and ears, directing him to where the action is, and where he can make a quick escape. He’s hot on the trail of a someone who’s about to sell a small nuclear weapon to the highest bidder. Bradley confronts him, and accidentally kills him before he reveals the location of the bomb. Chaos ensues, and escapes, but only with Susan’s help.
Undaunted by this tremendous setback, Fine chooses to follow his target’s daughter Rayna (Rose Byne), who will be resuming the negotiations ASAP, so time is short. He sneaks into Rayna’s home and is found out. He is killed, but not before Rayna reveals she knows who he is, and also claims to know every current field agent who would stop her.
The head of the CIA’s operations, Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney), realizes what’s at stake, but also that they can’t send their top agents anywhere near Rayna. Crocker is forced to choose Susan, who had passed all the requirements of field service, but was commandeered by Fine. This angers agent Rick Ford, who wants to avenge Bradley’s death, as well as find the bomb. So, off goes Susan, and the typical spy sequences occur. She’s given a cover, but it’s of some frumpy, middle aged woman on vacation. Her best friend/co-worker Nancy (Miranda Hart) becomes her handler, and guides her onward, who behaves as one expects Miranda Hart to behave.
At this point, one would expect the bumbling-agent-stumbles-toward-victory kind of movie, but that’s not exactly what happens. Susan is more than competent, and manages to stay focused enough to go with the events that transpire.
Mind you, this is a comedy. I find it funny in places, and there are funny elements in the film, including several good laughs (one or two spoiled by the trailer). Jason Statham plays it straight, and is intentionally untentionally comedic. At its heart, though, Spy is an action movie, and it’s not bad. There are some plot holes that you could probably drive a truck through, but we’ll forgive those, as they’re a part of any film in the spy movie genre.
There is a mid-credits scene that’s worth waiting for.
Recommended, but you can wait until it’s up for rental.