Mellisa McCarthy is my wife’s favorite current actress. Her movies are a guilty pleasure for her as much as old Adam Sandler movies were for me back in the day.
It’s the cinematic equivalent of comfort food, maybe not good for you, but good nonetheless. I am hit and miss with her movies. I find her shtick to be about as one note as your typical Tyler Perry “Madea” movie, but with added profanity and female bravado.
This movie works though, not because of the quality of the story or writing, but because of the talent of the actors in it, and the extent to which they take none of this seriously.
Jason Statham nearly steals them movie as a braggadocios CIA agent who spends half the film telling of his epic exploits (such as driving a car off a cliff onto a train while on fire—making sure to note that it was him that was on fire, not the car, or the train…) and the other half of the movie tripping over his own shoelaces. Bits such as that work well, while others such as a running gag about the CIA offices being full of rodents, fall flat.
McCarthy plays the same insult comic persona she has in all her previous films, which plays more tolerably to me when her co-stars are allowed dish back a few zingers instead of just being walking punchlines.
The main person doing the dishing back is Rose Byrne who plays Rayna Boyanov, a spoiled heiress in possession of a stolen nuke who has great fun playing a stereotypical vapid socialite.
Jude Law also has a fun role as “Agent Fine” a CIA field operative who may or may not have gone rogue and the man McCarthy’s character is desperately infatuated with. The spy movie genre is one that has already been thoroughly spoofed to good measure in Austin Power’s flicks and other films.
Now this spy spoof genre is becoming a parody of itself, which is a very meta thing to contemplate. With movies like this, and the sappy “This Means War” chick flick starring Reese Witherspoon, I think it is now time for this genre to go ahead and swallow that cyanide capsule, before it completely self destructs.
The success of this movie is not proof of the genre’s revitalization, it is merely the exception to prove the rule.
Spy gets a three out of five: SATISFYING.