Movie Review: ‘SPY’ – The Broad, Brash Comedy of the Year


Cole Clay // Film Critic

SPY | 120 min | R
Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Bobby Cannavale and Allison Janney

Melissa McCarthy’s broad and brash style of humor has failed to do anything, but annoy me thus far in her career. Yet, she still racks up the box-office tallies under the tutelage of director Paul Feig— their films together being BRIDESMAIDS, THE HEAT and now SPY. I really didn’t want to like this movie despite the positive reviews out of SXSW, but the mix of stupidity and subversive commentary exceed all SPY’s expectations.

C.I.A. agent Susan Cooper (McCarthy) has a hidden wild streak, but has been relegated to playing guardian angel/desk jockey for the debonaire super agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law). However, when all the field agents identities have been compromised at the hands of Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), Cooper is thrown into action, but is still written off by the majority of her colleagues.

Cooper is McCarthy’s first great character. She’s a multi-talented agent who isn’t worried about anything except proving to herself that she’s a worthy field agent– despite the crass comments from self-proclaimed super agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham who turns up his machismo persona to 11 in his scene-stealing performance).

Left to Right. Rose Byrne, Mellisa McCarthy & Zach Woods. (Photo Courtesy Of 20th Century Fox)

Rose Byrne, Mellisa McCarthy and Zach Woods in SPY. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

SPY has been praised (for good reason) for the portrayal of women in a genre typically occupied by men, but the film finds a way to exist in a world all on its own without becoming too obvious or heavy-handed with its commentary.

There is a lot to rejoice about SPY’s progressive attitude, but when the film gets weighted down with expositio,n there’s still enough humor and quirky character moments to keep the laughs coming.

And lastly, Susan Cooper could (no joke) beat Jason Bourne’s butt any day of the week.

SPY opens tonight in participating theaters and everywhere tomorrow.

About author

James C. Clay

James Cole Clay has been working as a film critic for the better part of a decade covering new releases, blu ray reviews and the occasional drive-in cult classic. His writing is dedicated to discovering social politics through diverse voices, primarily focusing on Women In Film and LGBTQ cinema.