Mikey Clarke reviews Spy (15), out now at Showcase Cinemas Peterborough
Watching Melissa McCarthy over the last few years has become rather tiresome. I must confess, I even rolled my eyes when I was asked to review Spy.
I wondered whether there was more to her than the loud and larger-than-life comedic character we’ve seen her play over and over again. It turns out, there is!
The script to Spy is genuinely smart and funny, meaning that McCarthy doesn’t have to rely on falling over (though that happens!) or fart jokes (that happens too!) to get the laughs.
Spy tells the story of Susan Cooper (McCarthy), an awkward deskbound CIA analyst who is the unsung hero behind some of the Agency’s most dangerous missions. When her fellow agent and crush (Jude Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Jason Statham) is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster.
It’s not just McCarthy who has reunited with the writer/director of Bridesmaids (Paul Feig) for Spy. Rose Byrne once again joins the pair as Rayna Boyanov, a bitchy villainess. The two females have great onscreen chemistry and are responsible for some of the films funniest moments.
Jason Statham also creates some laugh as an over compensating ‘hard-man’ who makes claims such as once having an arm ripped off and having to reattach it with the other arm.
In fact, all the characters seem to add something to the mix, apart from a CIA minion played by Miranda Hart. Her unique brand of self-loathing becomes tedious before long.
What works best is that many of the action sequences are genuinely impressive.
Feig clearly wanted to make a film that was just as much about the action as it was the comedy. You may be surprised by how graphic and violent some parts are – but whether that’s a good or bad thing is down to personal taste.