Film Review: Spy
Paul Feig’s Spy is an entertaining action comedy which works better than the premise might suggest.
Susan Cooper is a desk-bound CIA agent who provides great support to her colleagues. When the CIA need a new face to go undercover, Susan volunteers, plunging herself into a world of danger as she tries to infiltrate the inner circle of an arms dealer…
Writer-director Paul Feig teams up with star Melissa McCarthy once again in this action comedy. Spy takes obvious cues from the James Bond franchise, most of this is worked to humorous effect. However, the film is not so much as spoof of the genre as a comedy sent within the framework of the genre.
Spy does not hit the beats that viewers may expect, and it is a better film for this. Paul Feig’s film is not always laugh-out-loud funny, but it often hits the mark in terms of jokes. Thnkfully the size jokes are eschewed for the most part, to deliver something much funnier. Jason Statham’s character Rick Ford is a parody of the type of role he is often associated with, and a great source of amusement.
Spy‘s plot features the usual twists of an action movie. The film plays on Melissa McCarthy’s Susan as a fish out of water; the protagonist is removed from her comfort zone. Nevertheless, she is drawn as capable rather than the bumbling comedy idiot that she could have been. In fact, female characters in the film are both visible and depicted in positions of authority. Spy does not make a point of doing this, it is not an overt point that female characters dominate key roles. Nevertheless, male characters are not sidelined in the film.
Melissa McCarthy is amusing and amiable as Susan. However, it is Rose Byrne who steals the show with her comedy chops. Jason Statham is also good, whilst Jude Law is well cast as the suave secret agent.
Spy is an improvement on 2013’s The Heat, and bodes well for Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters film. An action comedy that entertains throughout.