Overall Grade: (B+)
A spoof of the spy-genre that delivers some great performances and a fun adventure that works perfectly with the intentionally dumb, but enjoyable plot.
When an operative is killed and the identities of several secret agents have been blown, a desk-bound operative will take her first assignment in the field, to track down a nuclear weapon and those responsible.
My expectations for this film were minimal and regardless of the cast I did not expect “Spy” to be highly entertaining. Melissa McCarthy’s road-trip romp “Tammy” failed to entertain last summer as it seemed her rough and vulgar character-type was beginning to wear thin. The last comical efforts I remember from Statham was from his Guy Richie related films many years ago and well, I expected Jude Law to be his usual self, similar to his rom-com performances.
Much to my surprise and delight this film turned out to be a great action-comedy with plenty of out-right hilarious moments. McCarthy played a charismatic and charming character that took what the world threw at her and still held her desire and motivation. She nailed many of her comedic moments from her physical comedy to her dialogue and even managed to evoke her brand of comedy in some surprisingly capable fight-scenes. Her range in this film is what made it the enjoyable and fun adventure set in a satirical spy-world that it turned out to be.
Jason Statham was also very surprising, he delivered a highly comical performance as the ego manacle spy hell bent on, well pretty much everything. His portrayal was very funny and it was nice to see him use something other then his feet and fists to pull off a character performance. The only thing that didn’t surprise me was Law who was solid in his role as expected. Together the cast showed strong chemistry and the back and forth’s between Statham and McCarthy were as funny as intended.
Law’s intro in the first-act was great for boosting the interest in the films theme being the spoof of the espionage world, as well as some comical dialogue with he and McCarthy in his earpiece, as well as over an awkward dinner date. Rose Byrne came in and entertained as well with an embracing performance as the films snobby villain. She fit the part well and other then lacking some real hero/villain conflict her role was fun for the films story-line regardless.
This satire of the old Bond films was a fun adventure and provided more than enough hilarious moments along the way. The action in the film was not as cheesy as I thought it would be and the dialogue delivered many more witty comedic lines than I ever would have guessed.
Sure the plot and course of the script is dumb but that was clearly the point and it worked, the film never wavered in pace and managed to keep your interest throughout by not loading the film with too many subplots. The focused remained on the flow of the story and just when you thought you laughed hardest, another scene would come through and nail another hilarious moment.
Overall this film was much more enjoyable than I would have ever guessed. The likable characters and lighthearted plot made for a great action-comedy and after the end credits began to roll I was still chuckling. McCarthy came through with one of her strongest comedic performances and in my mind it was accomplished by not trying too hard. Despite all the blockbuster films loading the summer bill, “Spy” will still end up being the surprise success of the season with a highly entertaining romp in the spy game.