The Spy Who Shoved Me

Melissa McCarthy movies have two modes: Laugh-Out-Loud Funny and Vile Trash. I haven't seen all of her headline work, so it's possible that The Heat might fall somewhere in-between. But in my experience, there's not much middle ground between the wild hilarity of Bridesmaids and the nightmare slog of getting through Identity Thief.

So when she has a new movie coming out, I've found the best method is to let it open, then scan the reviews and comments about it to see which side of the divide it's likely to fall on. As Spy debuted, all signs looked good. It's currently sitting at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, and The Dissolve gave it one of their coveted "Essential Viewing" tags. Add in the fact that it's one of those rare movies that my boyfriend and could both enjoy, and I was ready to commit a chunk of my precious Saturday to it.

Spy stars McCarthy as Susan Cooper, a CIA agent who does tactical support for dreamy field agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law). Though Susan is supremely capable at her job, she is insecure and unconfident in her abilities, and has an embarrassing one-way crush on her colleague. When Fine is taken out in the line of duty (not a spoiler, don't worry), Cooper steps up and volunteers to go undercover to discover the location of a nuke from villainess Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne).

There are hijinx aplenty, of course. There are pratfalls and bodily function jokes and such, but while they'd be insufferable in another movie, in Spy, they're actually written very cleverly. Plenty of potshots are taken at Susan, but never in a way that makes her a victim. At no point is she a helpless, quivering mess; she's always portrayed as an intelligent and resourceful. All the other actors are supremely game to be foolish and funny. I've never seen an indication that Jason Statham has a sense of humor before, and he's great in this, as is Miranda Hart as Susan's sidekick. I've only ever seen her in Call the Midwife, so this is a big change, and she just about steals the movie.

One note of caution: For those who are gore-averse like me, this is a way more intense movie than I was expecting. It wasn't anything I couldn't handle (except for one small scene that I had to turn away from), but I had no idea that it would be so bloody. But overall, it accomplished exactly what I needed it to, and made me laugh out loud several times. I don't think it'll be entering my Pantheon or anything, but it's far and away the best comedy of 2015 so far.

Spy: B+


Post a Comment

Copyright © Slice of Lime