My close friends know I don’t see too many “comedies” because I don’t think there are any comedic minds left in today’s cinema with the exception of Mel Brooks. However, I was attracted to the premise of “Spy” since I have rarely seen that genre skewered, with the notable exception of “Spy Hard”. This one goes like this:
Melissa McCarthy is Susan Cooper, the vocal link to fellow CIA agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law) on all his adventures and has secretly developed a crush on him. When a mission to recover a nuclear weapon goes wrong and Fine is eliminated, a conference is held to appoint a new person on the case. Susan decides that she owes Bradley and should do this, but fellow agent Rick (Jason Stratham) argues that Susan is “just a secretary” and he will quit if she gets the nod. She does and Rick storms out in a huff.
Here it gets really engaging and funny as Susan gets entrusted with highly unusual equipment and a new name she doesn’t like. She’s instructed to observe and report only but things spiral out of control and she becomes deeply involved, along the way often running across Rick, who keeps reminding her about how he’s a really tough spy, and arms dealer Rayna Boynov (Rose Byrne) and her right hand man. Susan’s hand is forced and she threatens the strongarm guy with tearing off his manhood and gluing it to his forehead.
Yes, this is comedy, but unlike Austin Powers, which was pure nonsense, director Paul Feig ,who also co-wrote the script, injects enough action into it that allows you to understand that this is primarily a spy film. It skewers the James Bond type but keeps both feet on the ground to even make the audience gasp in surprise. There are repeated instances of rough language and a few scenes that young children may not understand, but spy movies are for adults, anyway.