Spy is technically a spoof comedy. It starts off with a very nice opening credits sequence that is clearly a take-off on the Bond franchise. But don’t expect this movie to be another Austin Powers. It is more than a straight spoof. This movie has its own identity. That is a good thing.
This movie stars Melissa McCarthy as Susan Cooper, a timid office worker for the CIA. Her job is to assist one of the top agents (Jude Law) when he is in the field. As fate would have it, events occur that send the inexperienced Susan overseas to track a dangerous female arms dealer.
Initially, there was a lot that I really liked about Melissa McCarthy’s character in this film. She was very relatable and likeable, not nearly the bumbling idiot that I was expecting her to be. I liked that. I didn’t want her to be completely incompetent. My biggest problem with the movie is actually just the opposite; she is entirely too competent. In fact there is pretty much nothing she can’t do. Watching Melissa McCarthy make James Bond look like a bum is just bizarre. She ceases to be the underdog pretty quickly, which pretty much defeats the whole purpose of the film.
When the humor in movie works, which is a good portion of the time, it is because the cast is so good. All of the performances are on point. This is the best I have seen McCarthy. Her scenes with Jason Statham are the best in the film. Rose Byrne is very good as well. She is fast becoming one of my favorite actresses. This entire cast is superb and makes the most out of a bunch of jokes that would not really be all that funny if they were delivered by less talented individuals.
The screenplay here is not all that good in my opinion. The first act is the best. That is a problem right there. The concept is interesting, but the jokes about Melissa McCarthy’s character being kind of a loser are very heavy handed. We get it, she is single and kind of timid. Every character she talks to does not need to remind us of that. As the story progresses, it just gets worse. The logic falls apart pretty quickly, and then the plot twists start. The whole thing becomes pretty overcomplicated. Most of the action sequences are too unbelievable to be enjoyable, except for one fight scene in a kitchen that was done very well. The movie limps its way to a climax that is entirely ridiculous. By the time the film ends it has turned into something that very closely resembles a complete mess.
This movie is not entirely unwatchable. It has several very enjoyable parts. There are plenty of laughs and the performances are stellar. I didn’t totally hate it, but my favorite part was the opening credits. That is not a great sign. It was certainly not as good as I expected it to be or hoped it would be. The Movie Man gives it 2 out of 5 stars.
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