Spy follows Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy), a rather lonely and unappreciated CIA analyst as she becomes a field agent, saving the world in the process. As an analyst, Susan’s primary job is to relay intelligence from CIA headquarters to field agents on the ground via earpiece. Cooper is paired with Bradley Fine (Jude Law), a debonair but rather daft field agent. Cooper harbors unrequited feelings for Fine, but Fine is too clueless to appreciate her, despite the fact that she has saved his life many times. Cooper’s career at the CIA takes an unexpected left turn when the CIA brass discover that Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), a Hungarian multimillionaire is in the possession of a suitcase nuke, and is willing to sell it to the highest bidder. Unfortunately for the CIA, Boyanov knows the identity of all active CIA field agents. Out of desperation, Cooper volunteers to go into the field, as Boyanov would not know the identity of a low level CIA analyst. From there, shenanigans ensue as a woefully inexperienced Cooper flounders in the field, eventually gaining confidence as a field agent whilst leaving a trail of comical destruction behind her.
Melissa McCarthy is a wonderfully talented comic actress and her skills are on display in this film. At first, I was afraid that her humor would be limited to low-brow fat jokes. Thankfully, the screenwriters and McCarthy worked together to create an intelligent and wonderfully hilarious comedy. McCarthy whips out her trademark sass as she gains confidence as a field agent, shouting down her opponents with vulgarly creative insults. However, it was Jason Statham who really surprised me with his comedic chops. Statham plays Rick Ford, a no-nonsense field agent who loves boasting about his own skills. Statham delivers absolutely ridiculous lines such as:
“I'm immune to 179 different types of poisons. I know because I ingested them all at once when I was deep undercover in a poison ingesting crime ring. It was like dogs fighting, but instead of dogs fighting, people would bet on humans.”
All of this is delivered with his signature deadpan expression. Since Statham usually plays the no-nonsense super agent with unparalleled combat skills in movies like The Expendables and Furious 7 it is refreshing to watch him play an overblown parody of himself.
What I especially loved about this film was the James Bond parallels and parodies. Bradley Fine, played by Jude Law, is the movie’s version of James Bond. With his good looks and excellent combat skills, Fine is a skilled field agent but he’s also extremely stupid and would likely have died without Cooper’s intel and advice. The CIA has their own version of Bond’s Q Branch, which creates amazing gadgets such as hover boards and laser guns. Unfortunately, Cooper gets rather unglamorous gadgets, such as a dart gun disguised as a rape whistle, poison antidote disguised as a laxative, and chloroform filled hemorrhoid wipes. And My favorite scene was a Casino Royale inspired poker scene.
Spy is a wonderful comedy becamse it manages to be hilarious with a combination of low-brow physical humor and tasteful satire. Spy made me laugh until there were tears in my eyes while also pointing out common tropes in action movies and James Bond-esqe spy movies. All in all, this movie is a amazing summer experience meant to be shared with a group of close friends.