Despite its familiar and thin story, Spy manages to be a funny and entertaining movie thanks to its fully committed cast.
Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner falls off the grid and another top agent is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster.
I had very low expectations for this film to the point that I didn’t plan to watch it. But I decided to take a gamble.
Fortunately, Spy delivered a parody that’s entertaining enough to distract you for more than an hour, even though the narrative is familiar.
The cast delivered their jokes without fail. Jude Law provides the charm. Jason Statham proved to be amusing as he skewers his own action movie persona. Rose Byrne is the second best thing in this film as she manages to make you laugh with minimal fuss and make her acid tongued character likeable. Melissa McCarthy shines as she’s finally given a character arc that pushes her to go beyond her shtick. The minor characters make their role count.
The film parodies the trademark elements of serious spy movies, with a running gag involving the poorly maintained office basement of analysts. It doesn’t throw cheap shots at its unlikely heroine’s gender or weight and focuses on jokes that are inherent to the story.
Most of it revolve around Susan Cooper, who is given disguises that are a variation of what the CIA expects her to be – the middle-aged forever alone cat lady. Her “gadgets” are concealed under embarrassing aids like stool softeners and hemorrhoid wipes. In spite of this she manages to rise above the occasion and gets some well deserved action in the end, even though it’s with someone that annoyed her to no end.
As far as blockbusters go (and a parody at that), you can’t expect much depth from Spy. The narrative uses the unlikely hero trope and plays it up for laughs. The villains are convenient caricatures. The action scenes looked obviously staged. Towards the end the movie is run over by contrivances and predictability.
Nonetheless, Spy is an entertaining effort that accomplishes what its supposed to do.
My Rating: 7/10