Spy Review: A New Star For the Genre

Photo Credit:http://screenrant.com/spy-red-band-trailer-2015-melissa-mccarthy/

Spy is a vehicle for Melissa McCarthy, but a different one from the others we’ve gotten over the past few years. This action comedy doesn’t use the star’s appearance for humor like a lot of her other vehicles have.

The film actually turns her into a super spy, having her kick some serious booty throughout. There’s a nice arc of her starting out at a desk, playing the Moneypenny role, only to fully take on the James Bond role by the end.

McCarthy is charming as ever, though the film relies on her a little too heavily. There’s no question she can carry a film as the lead, but at two hours, the story gets stretched a little too far beyond its means. The last third particularly drags.

But the supporting cast is strong enough to make up for the few moments where McCarthy’s talents aren’t enough. The best surprise is Jason Statham, who seems typecast until his character reveals a hilarious clumsy side. Spy is best when McCarthy and Statham are on screen together. Their scenes crackle with against-typecast material for both actors that make this comedy stand out in the crowd compared to others in the summer months.

Meanwhile, Rose Byre proves once again that she’s got top-notch comedic timing. Jude Law is mostly just there to provide the typical male British spy anchor for the other characters to bounce off of.

But a big problem for Spy is that it seems so focused on the spy stuff that the script doesn’t have a whole lot of comedy written into it. It relies too much on its premise and actors to be goofy enough, rather than creating brilliant comedy like the wedding dress fiasco or the airplane scene in Paul Feig’s modern classic Bridesmaids. There are surprisingly long breaks between gags that makes you wonder if Feig actually just wanted to make a spy movie.

Either way, the results are pretty mixed. Spy has its moments of comedic genius, mostly thanks to its cast, but doesn’t seem interested in filling the gaps between them. But if the female empowerment of Mad Max: Fury Road has already worn off on you, Spy does some good work replenishing it. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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