Movie Review: “Spy” – I Spy Fun

Written by Caitlin Cooper July 03, 2015

spy

Oftentimes spy films take themselves too seriously, and they become predictable,and even comical. Betrayal, followed by the hero going above and beyond to save the day, then they find fulfillment and a date. Spies are usually male, and they’re always extremely athletic and daring. But what if spies were actually conceited? What if they were jerks? And what if the best spy is the person who was always underestimated by her boss and colleagues?

“Spy” tells the story of Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy), a CIA agent who became a top analyst rather than an agent in the field kicking ass and taking names. When the identities of all active field agents are compromised, and after her co-worker Bradley Fine (Jude Law) is killed, Susan volunteers to go undercover to stop the people who killed her friend, and who plan to sell a very dangerous weapon to very dangerous people. Observe and report are her orders, but Susan quickly becomes more involved in the situation than she planned. Can she save the day, get revenge, and prove herself as a spy?

“Could you imagine me as a spy?”

Comedy films tend to be hit or miss with me. Luckily, “Spy” is mostly a hit. Other McCarthy films, like last year’s “Tammy” and 2013’s “The Heat”, were majour disappointments. In the awesome and hilarious “Bridesmaids”, McCarthy is cool (and a little creepy). Thankfully, “Spy” brings a similar tone and comedy as “Bridesmaids”. What makes this film so funny is that the seemingly cool spies are so conceited and rude that they come off as ridiculous. And the fact that they have people like Susan directing them the whole time they’re on a mission makes them seem more realistic than spy movies would have you believe. It’s an ironic take on classic spy characters. What makes it even more funny is that these ridiculous spies take themselves so seriously. While undercover, it becomes clear that Susan is smart, bad-ass, and likes to tell people off. She becomes more confident as she finally gets to do what she’s always wanted: be a spy. And when offered a date in the end, she goes the unexpected route and has a girls night instead. And then a drunken one night stand with her annoying colleague, Rick Ford (Jason Statham). Thankfully, only a few jokes fall flat.

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What would a spy film be without its intense action sequences? Never fear, “Spy” has plenty of those, too. There’s even some slow-motion to show you just how capable Susan is of kicking ass, even when her only weapon is a cast-iron frying pan (“Tangled”, anyone?). She tries to do the outrageous maneuvers that other spies do, but realizes that her own style of being aggressive and unrelenting in her attacks is what suits her best. She’s not afraid to drive a scooter through wet concrete to chase after a car, or throw guns at people when she’s out of bullets. Susan is a really good field agent, an awesome spy, and a great friend.

“You’re putting this entire operation in danger.”

The cast can make or break a comedy film, but “Spy” has a talented cast including some more unexpected actors taking on a different genre than they usually do. McCarthy has been doing comedies for awhile, but this is the first one I’ve seen with her as the main character that isn’t terrible. She’s good at being blunt and mocking. She’s also good at playing the more vulnerable side of Susan. McCarthy makes Susan a character to root for, and it’s clear that she has the talent to be the lead in films. Law isn’t in the film that much, but he’s surprisingly good at comedy; he plays the egotistical Bradley with ease and flair. Statham is known for playing action characters, and while he is in “Spy”, too, it’s a more ironic action character. It’s nice to see him playing something a little different than his usual characters – his characters tend to blend together since they’re so similar. His character takes himself so seriously, and has such a high opinion of himself. But surprisingly it works. Rose Byrne plays villain Rayna Boyanov and while her character is almost too ridiculous and one-dimensional sometimes, she makes the character funny.

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Spy films are a dime a dozen, and they usually follow a pretty similar formula. “Spy” takes the classic spy film and has fun with it. Spies are conceited and sometimes terrible at their jobs, and the unlikely hero is someone who’s been working behind the scenes for years. It might be easy to overlook this film amidst all the big blockbusters this summer, but it would be a mistake to miss out on the hilarious and ironic “Spy”.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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