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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Spy | Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Allison Janney, Jude Law, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Serafinowicz | Review

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4sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD Judy Thorburn

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4lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD

 

Spy

After starring in two duds (Tammy and Identity Thief), comedy actress, Melissa McCarthy is back on track as movieland's Queen of Comedy, as the star of Spy, a spoof on espionage thrillers, complete with a 007-like opening title sequence  This film marks her third collaboration with director Paul Feig, who guided her breakout, scene stealing performance in Bridesmaids and opposite Sandra Bullock in The Heat.  No doubt they make a great team.

Feig is both writer and director of Spy which stars McCarthy as a CIA analyst working behind a desk in a vermin infested basement at the agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia where she communicates by earpiece with her partner in the field, handsome and dashing spy Bradley Fine (Jude Law in perfect James Bond mode) with whom she secretly harbors a major crush. Oblivious to her feelings, Fine thinks of her strictly as his buddy, even though, through the use of her surveillance cameras and verbal warnings she's helped save his life on several occasions.

Susan's dream of working in the field as an undercover agent is finally realized after Fine goes missing while on assignment to locate a nuclear weapon.  Central to the case, is beautiful but icy Bulgarian arms dealer Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) who is suspected of selling nuclear weapons to terrorists organizations.  Since Rayna somehow knows the names of all active CIA agents, Cooper comes forward to volunteer her service, and CIA Deputy Director (Allison Janney) reluctantly agrees to send her on a track and report mission only, along with strict orders not to make contact with any targets, since one mistake could lead to disaster.

Before heading off on her globe trotting mission that takes her from Paris to Rome and Budapest, where she assumes aliases such as a frumpy single mother of four and a spinster cat lady complete with horrendous wigs and outfits, Cooper is equipped with gadgets and weapons disguised as anti fungal spray, stool softener and hemorrhoid wipes, that supposedly any single woman traveling across Europe would carry.

Sent to aid Cooper is sex obsessed, Italian operative Aldo (Peter Serafinowicz) while agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham), who doesn't think the inexperienced Cooper is up for the job and incredibly out of her league, keeps showing up causing interference and infuriation for his female counterpart. Nevertheless, Cooper continually gets to prove that she is resourceful, smart and kickass when need be, after coming in contact with Rayna, a knife-wielding assassin (Bollywood actress Nargis Fakhri), and eventually encountering Rayna's Italian contact, greasy haired playboy/terrorist Sergio DeLuca (Bobby Carnavale) who wants the bomb for his own nefarious reasons. Also showing up unexpected at some point to lend some aid is Cooper's CIA colleague and best friend,Nancy (British comedienne Miranda Hart).

Writer/director Feig, who has built a reputation as one of Hollywood's best comedy directors is at the top of his game, working from his own, well written script filled with very funny scenes and hysterical dialogue. With Feig at the helm, McCarthy is given full reign to display her immense talent as a comedic actress with perfect comic timing, spot on sight gags and physical stunts, while still injecting some heart and soul into her character. With McCarthy leading the pack, the supporting actors are also all excellent, each well suited for their respective roles. If you pay close attention to what goes on in the background, you can catch Feig in a quick, slapstick, cameo role.

As McCarthy's co-star, Rose Byrne is the epitome of a ruthless, cruel and conniving villainess. Never moving beyond a deadpan mode, her interactions and back and forth insults with McCarthy are priceless.

However, the biggest surprise is Jason Statham.  Although always keeping it straight, he is nothing short of hilarious as Rick Ford, while rattling off various examples of his accomplishments in the field and tolerance for pain (i.e., saying “I once drove a car off the freeway, over a train while it was on fire- not the car, I was on fire”, and having to sew one arm back on with the other).

I must say, I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. Without a doubt, Spy is the funniest movie of the year, so far.   It may be about a bomb, but it sure isn't one. Yes, it is a blast, the good kind.  Make it your mission to see it.

 

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