Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Movie Review - Spy

Spy (2015)
Starring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, and Jude Law
Directed by Paul Feig

Lately, Melissa McCarthy's comedic ventures have been weak, attempting to recapture the brash persona that brought her an Oscar nomination for Bridesmaids, but only feeling like cheap carbon copies.  Fortunately, Spy changes things around a little bit as McCarthy stars as Susan Cooper, a rather humble CIA agent who spends her day behind a desk helping the dashing and debonair field agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law).  During a mission in which Fine is raiding the home of Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), a nasty criminal who perhaps knows the location of a nuclear bomb, Rayna shoots Fine dead, but not before stating that she knows the names and identities of many CIA field agents and will kill them just like she did Fine if they try and hunt her down.  With the knowledge that many of their agents may now be compromised, CIA director Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney) agrees to send Susan undercover to try and get information about Rayna and the location of the nuke.  Needless to say, the somewhat timid Susan finds herself needing to showcase her strength and machismo as she tries to take down Rayna.

McCarthy is certainly more of an actress than just her admittedly hilarious Bridesmaids character and I am more than pleased that the comedienne is able to show a different set of comedic chops in Spy.  Here, she's absolutely charming to watch onscreen and more than holds the audience's attention.  I can only hope that this type of character finds her more in the future.  Pairing McCarthy with the hardened Jason Statham as a CIA agent angered that Cooper is out in the field provides many a humorous moment as does McCarthy's repartee with the evilly snarky Rose Byrne who continues to showcase her talent in the comedy world.

I laughed out loud quite a bit during Spy, but the film doesn't quite find the balance in terms of teaming comedy with action.  I enjoyed the flick, but there are certainly more than a few dull moments that do little to move the story forward or provide laughs or excitement.  I'd certainly be game for another go-around with the characters in the film so there's definitely something to be said for that.  With a bit more editing (as is needed in nearly all comedies that come out of today's cinematic landscape), Spy would've been the tauter flick it needed to be to really succeed.  As it stands now, it's a solid vehicle for Melissa McCarthy who's finally given a chance to shine after several years of shoddy films.

The RyMickey Rating:  B-

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