In this day and age comedies have a lot of ground to cover if they want to be taken seriously. This is because comedy is, as of late, almost always apart of other genre films in some capacity and so straight comedy films with nothing else to offer up aren’t always worth our time.
Spy, in my humble opinion, is the best movie Melissa McCarthy has actually done. With a splash of starts who I actually know and like in roles that seem designed to make fun of the roles they usually take or have taken in the past. Jude Law plays Bradley Fine the suave, debonair spy whom Susan Cooper (McCarthy) guides from the less than cared for CIA headquarters (many a joke goes into how the conditions of the building are god-awful, compared to the expensive tech they hand out like candy). But that’s the CIA for you, apparently in this film at least. The tech analysts who run the show for the agents on the ground aren’t given the same kind of consideration. Whether or not it truly bothers them is played for laughs, as they are able to sit through rats (at least I hope that was a rat) crawling on them, animal feces on goodbye cakes that look like chocolate sprinkles, and a swarm of bats coming out of the woodwork… Well, I’d call the place condemned but obviously it was budget cuts for the fancy tech.
Things take a dark turn for Agent Fine when he accidentally sneezes and kills his mark, the only person whom they’ve confirmed that knows about the location of a nuclear bomb. Scrambling fast, they decide to try and learn something from the mark’s daughter, Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne, SQUEE!! She may or may not be a slutty dolphin trainer, we never really do get an answer on that one).
We are introduced to other agents, most notably Cooper’s friend Nancy B. Artingstall (Miranda Hart), Rick Ford (Jason Statham in what has to be a parody of Jason Statham in every role he’s ever been in), and Elaine Crocker (Allison Janey) their boss. With one more tragedy and all of their field agents exposed, Susan Cooper volunteers to watch and report on Boyanov’s movements so they might be able to recover the nuclear bomb before it’s too late.
And because this is a comedy, Cooper is given progressively worse and worse covert identities with some of the lamest tech you’ve ever seen. Cooper, though, refuses to give up and knows that she can prove herself.
Spy is a comedy, and with Melissa McCarthy in the lead it really was a toss-up on the quality. Comedies already have a high journey to go for me, you have to be funny, entertaining, hold my attention, and not do something so outrageous that I don’t feel like finishing you (Even with Ted 2 coming out, one scene really rubbed me the wrong way in the original and I’ve never been in the mood to finish it even though I like the people in it and the concept is interesting). On top of that, the plot has to be either really engaging or a genuinely interesting excuse plot. Some comedies have it easier than others, Scary Movie was a parody of the horror genre in full and it’s debatable whether or not the other sequels ever met its caliber, and it wasn’t that high a bar. However, Spy was genuinely funny to the point where not all of the most hilarious bits were in the trailer. When it needed to be serious it was serious, if even with a hint of comedy to remind you that this is a comedy.
Take your time, enjoy this movie in theaters if you get the chance and be glad that it’s rated R.