• At any time of the day, a good movie with popcorn or beer is a welcome pleasure.

    Spy (2015): Movie Review

    "Hilarious and action-packed."

    Melissa McCarthy delivered a breakout performance in Bridesmaid (2011) as the raunchy sister of the groom. She has since played major roles in movies like The Heat (2013) and Tammy (2014) but nothing had brought out her sparkling wits and charming skills again than in her recent action comedy film Spy. Working once again with director Paul Feig, she brings us a two-hour treat of endless laugh and heart-pumping adventures.

    McCarthy stars as Susan Cooper, a desk-bound CIA analyst whose clammy office has pest control problems. Working with her field partner Agent Bradley Fine, she provides live-monitoring updates via satellite images. Combining technology and her natural instincts, she warns about any impending threats and wrong turns. Not to mention, Susan has developed some sort of unrequited crush on her partner agent.

    So when Fine is caught and captured by Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), a beautiful but spoiled and sharp-tongued baddie who put a nuclear bomb up for trade, Susan volunteers for the job of rescuing him. Despite her initial hesitations, boss Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney) sends her to Europe for surveillance mission. Working with rogue field agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham) and her new analyst Nancy Artingstall (Miranda Hart), Susan will do whatever it takes to save the man she fancies.

    In terms of storyline, Spy is not unique. A newbie agent sent to high-action missions is a very common plot for many comedy spy films. At least, we did not see a sexy dumb blonde femme fatale; instead, the movie offers us an unlikely heroine – a plus-size common-face citizen who can easily turn into a confident woman with oozing appeal and Hulk-like violence when needed.

    Whatever the movie lacks in story, it compensates with the stellar performance of its actor and well-written script. Law is absolutely dashing as the James Bond-like tuxedoed agent. No wonder, his rugged macho charisma caught the heart and soul of Susan. Even Statham is incredibly hilarious as the dim-witted egoistic agent. It’s beautifully awkward to watch him perform a role very contrary to his usual smart-ass masculine persona.

    But the movie is all about the ladies. Byrne is a stunning second-generation villainess whose intelligence is easily outwitted by Susan. With her pretty face and fabulous hairstyles and gowns, it is fascinating to see the devil in her. Meanwhile, Hart strikes a wonderful chemistry with McCarthy. Her 6'1" height and the latter’s plump figure is reminiscent of classic arcade game characters (Mario and Luigi?) whose mission is to save the person they love.

    Inarguably, McCarthy is the star of the movie. She is not funny because of how she looks, but because she has that natural skill to make people laugh. Her delivery is precise, giving perfect timing to the comedy. But she does not rest of being comic only; she also brings out different nuances of human emotions like falling in love, rage and compassion. That scene towards the end where she goes gentle with Rayna is quite touching.

    Complementing with the actors’ performance are the spot-on dialogues. Director Feig had also written the movie and the script suited well the characters. Since the film is quite about female empowerment, it has tendency to veer towards being sexist. There are plenty of jokes about males, such as the enemy agent taking a snap of his large dong on camera phone while holding a softdrink bottle near it and Susan lashing on Rayna’s henchman about cutting his own dick and sticking it on his forehead like a unicorn’s horn. They are offensive if you take them to your heart; superficially, they are funny though. 

    Spy breaks boredom in the spy thriller genre dominated by handsome Romeos as it features a convex yet witty Juliet. With its seemingly endless humor and actions, it is a gripping movie to watch. So better visit the bathroom first because there will be no standing up.


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