Review of 'Spy'

spy.jpg While CIA analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) remotely assists fellow spy Bradley Fine (Jude Law) in searching the home of an underground syndicate headed by Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) selling a nuclear bomb, Fine is shot. Despite objections from Agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham) regarding Cooper's lack of field experience, though in spite of her exceptional grades during training, Cooper is sent to Paris to continue the investigation. As she travels across Europe following leads she eventually infiltrates the syndicate and becomes the bodyguard of Boyanov. Will Cooper, aided by her somewhat inept friend Nancy (Miranda Hart) manage to stay alive and solve the case?

A surprisingly good action film from comedian Melissa McCarthy which features some amazing set pieces and, of course, her trademark (sweary) humour. With an all-star supporting cast including fellow comedian Miranda Hart and action legend Jason Stratham (who is quite sweary here), Spy is a load of fun. The plot does get a bit complicated as we travel around Europe following the clues we are introduced to some memorable characters including the overly-amorous spy played by Peter Serafinowicz, forever trying sleezy lines to get into Cooper's bed and the ultra-cold baddie Rayna Boyanov played by Rose Byrne, thinking nothing of shooting most of the members of her own gang. The contrast between the style of the slick criminals and the somewhat inept, yet effective, efforts of the CIA is played up to add to the fun.

Surprisingly the film is quite brutal in parts with some pretty gruesome murders including a man impaled on a stake, several characters being shot in the forehead, or another man having his jaws dissolve (on screen) after drinking acid. This is a sharp contrast to the otherwise light-hearted tone. I suppose it does help drive up the tension and sense of jeopardy but I wonder whether it could have been toned down a bit.

A genuinely funny action film from Melissa McCarthy with quite a bit of violence and naughty words…

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2023-12-10

Directed by: Paul Feig

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox

Year: 2015

Length: 120 minutes

Genre: Comedy

Other reviewed films by Paul Feig: