The third time continues to be the “charm” for director Paul Feig and star Melissa McCarthy. First time out the pair scored with the massive hit, Bridesmaids which won a rare Oscar nod for McCarthy’s broad comic turn. Then came another smash, The Heat with Sandra Bullock joining McCarthy and now perhaps the best yet, the riotously funny Spy. But, as I say in my video review above, don’t call it a spoof. It’s an action comedy that really seems to respect the Bond genre. A send-up, yes, but not mocking at all. There seems to be genuine affection for these kinds of movies and Feig is just such a smart filmmaker he delivers on every level a superior commercial entertainment, that for my money is the best comedy I have seen all year. Certainly I haven’t laughed out loud this much in a long time. McCarthy gets a real showcase here but doesn’t go over the top, always keeping her accidental spy grounded and real – not an easy task. She plays Susan Cooper, the kind of woman who certainly is smarter than everyone around her but has been relegated to a desk job at a super spy headquarters where she shouts instructions into the earpiece of (her secret crush) British super agent Jude Law, at his suave Bondian best as he goes about his ever-so dangerous missions. Complications occur when arms dealer Rose Byrne takes him out of the picture in her non-stop attempt to land a nuclear bomb, the ultimate prize. Cooper is assigned to tail her, but not to get physically involved. Of course that doesn’t last long and we’re off to the races. Along the way frustrated British spy Jason Statham wants in on the action but is sidelined.
I know it means nothing to say Statham has never been funnier, but who knew this guy had these kinds of comic chops? He’s sensationally deadpan funny here and, though comic performances are often discounted, if there is any justice he will be remembered come Oscar time. Take it to the bank. He’s that good. I will say exactly the same for Byrne who competes with her own outrageous hair styles for attention and nails it.
McCarthy and the rest of the cast make this a great ensemble. They include sterling turns from Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, Jessica Chaffin, Peter Serafinowicz, and Law. Even 50 Cent shows up briefly for some fun moments. Producers are Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Jessie Henderson and Feig. 20th Century Fox releases today and word of mouth should be through the roof. It already has a super high 95% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and looks to be number one for the weekend. Deservedly so.
Do you plan to see Spy? Tell us what you think.