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Spy [2015] is the insipidly titled spy action comedy from the comedic team of star Melissa McCarthy and director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat). The story follows CIA analyst Susan Cooper who must go undercover after the identities of all of the agency’s field agents are compromised. As one might imagine, hijinks ensue.

Phase 01: The Giggs. Spy is undoubtedly funny when it is at its highs. Paul Feig swings for the fences and occasionally hits it out of the park with the jokes, but sometimes swings and misses, too. There were several jokes that fell flat, likely as a result of the film’s improvisational nature. This method allows for some hilarious interactions, but also makes some jokes run too long and overstay their welcome.

Surprisingly badass. The action scenes are a pleasant surprise as they are actually very well filmed and choreographed. This may help subside some of the worries of those wary of Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters reboot.

Playing the spy game. Films like Spy often try to subvert genre tropes for the sake of comedy. While the film finds its jokes elsewhere, it does feel a bit stale and familiar as a result of not changing up the formula.

The curious case of Melissa McCarthy. McCarthy delivers a character both new and familiar as she taps into her famous shtick but also goes beyond it. She inhabits different traits with her different identities showing that she is not a one-trick-pony. Her character, Susan Cooper, has real depth and feels like a fully-realized person with a satisfying arc. The wonderfully feminist role put her front and center, going from a follower to a badass who don’t need no man *sassy hand gesture*.

While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it’s a ton of silly, violent fun.

Spy
3.5Overall Score
Reader Rating 2 Votes

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