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Spy (2015)

June. 05,2015
| Action Comedy Crime

A desk-bound CIA analyst volunteers to go undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent diabolical global disaster.


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An entertaining and surprisingly suspenseful parody, Spy's strengths outweigh its flaws. The film stars Melissa McCarthy as Susan Cooper, a CIA agent who works in the basement feeding information to superstar spy Bradley Fine (Jude Law). Cooper has an obvious crush on Fine, who seems not to notice, though one can't help but wonder if he is faking it. When Fine disappears, Cooper volunteers to go out into the field on her first-ever mission to avenge him.Jude Law plays one of the few serious characters in the film, a clear spoof of James Bond. The rest of the cast is filled out with comedic talent such as Nancy (Miranda Hart), Cooper's wacky friend, Rayna Boynakov (Rose Byrne), a snobby nuclear arms-dealer's daughter, and Rick Ford (Jason Stratham), a thick-skulled and stubborn former agent who always seems to show up where he is least wanted.The humor in Spy is best when it contains some aspect of social commentary. For instance, when Collins receives her spy aliases, they're outsize stereotypes of what we think a woman of Melissa McCarthy's age and weight might be. Why would it make sense for a spy to run around Rome in a hot pink track suit and hideous wig pretending to be a cat lady from Iowa? Well, there the film's logic breaks down, but it's well worth the joke. The sparring between Cooper and Rayna is similarly hilarious because of Rayna's elevated sense of class and arrogance compared to Cooper's humble American persona. Ford, on the other hand, plays the biggest stereotype of a hypermasculine action hero possible, playing up the absurdity of such characters.Where Spy falls flat for me is the excessive vulgar humor. A character can't just say an f-bomb one time; she has to say it ten times. When Cooper finds obscene photos on an enemy's camera, we can't just see one picture, we have to see ten (and a video!). There's one character who seems to exist purely to grope Cooper whenever he is onscreen. Sometimes you just need to know where to stop.No one goes to see movies like this for the plot or action sequences, though they are surprisingly well done. A couple of the plot twists will probably throw you off enough to forget the film is meant to be a comedy, and the action sequences are suspenseful, including one that takes place in a kitchen where the characters throw vegetables at each other and hit one another with pans. It sounds cartoony, but in practice it's not. When all is said and done, this is a well-made film, but one definitely needs a tolerance for vulgar humor to enjoy it.

Jake J

This is one of my favorite comedies in the last few years. Genuinely funny all around. My favorite Melissa McCarthy performance, as the likeable every-day hero. Jason Statham and Allison Janey provide a hilarious contrast, often stealing the scene with their supporting work. Spy plays out like a espionage thriller with an deft comedic touch. This movie surprised me with its humor and heart, and if you missed it, definitely check it out.


I avoided this bomb for 3 years, but with little other choice of things to watch, and my sister saying she had enjoyed it, I gave it a chance. Full of things even a child would not find funny (the likes of fart jokes and excessive profanity), but unfortunately completely void of humour. And they are considering a sequel?

Clifton Johnson

This is hardly the first or last spy parody movie. Some nail it (Johnny English), and some miss badly (the Austin Powers sequels). This one was just plain perfect. There's nothing original, but every cast member - McCarthy especially - nails every part. Comedies like this work best with real characters and unreal plots. Paul Feig clearly gets that. I laughed. A lot.