Directed by Paul Feig
Starring Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Jason Statham, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Alison Janney, Peter Serafinowicz
There are fewer sights as exuberant as Melissa McCarthy on a roll. And that includes her rolling.
The actress who shot to instant limelight with Feig’s The Bridesmaids — despite being the fourth wheel — is again at her swearing, fighting, kicking best here, letting it all hang out as a CIA desk person who finds herself out in the field. That field includes the breadth of Europe, from Paris and Rome all the way to Bulgaria and Hungary, and also stars an adventurous chartered plane ride.
One can see the comic and action potential there, and Feig, who also wrote the script, obviously saw that too. However, Spy goes a step further and deeper to send up the spy film genre as well as bring in an unsaid kindred sisterhood that’s now the hallmark of his films. Here the CIA deputy director (Janney) is a woman, as well as the main villain, Rayna (Byrne), whom Susan is tracking, with the help of CIA friend Nancy (Hart). However, by the end of what could be the start of a franchise, Susan and Rayna exchange a smile so full of understanding that it’s a wonder the men didn’t anticipate what befells them.
While Feig had earlier too featured McCarthy in a comic-action role, with Sandra Bullock in The Heat, that woman cop-buddy film was more predictable in playing up the differences of its characters. Here, if you look deep enough, the women are dissimilar but caught up in quite similiar situations.