Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Spy’ Review: Starring Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne & Jason Statham

Melissa McCarthy and director/writer Paul Feig have a relationship that is on par to Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese or Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. Feig clearly knows how to write for her and McCarthy has all the goods to lead a comedy and now an action film! McCarthy has already proven herself as a comedic star and now she proves to be an action star in Spy.

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is a CIA desk agent who assists field agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law) while he is out on duty. Cooper loves her job and her work, but also has a crush on Fine. After an unexpected event that happens in the field caused by the villainous Rayna (Rose Byrne) who threatens the lives of the top CIA agents, Cooper gets thrown in the field on her own missions. As an unrecognizable face, it’s up to Cooper to take down Rayna and save the agents.

Though it’s clear McCarthy and Feig have an outstanding relationship on screen and McCarthy is hilarious in the film, Rose Byrne and Jason Statham are equally as funny and are incredible supporting actors for McCarthy. We’ve seen Byrne’s comedic side in Bridesmaids and in 2013’s Neighbors, but she is excellent here as our villain who is always dressed immaculately and her hair resembles what some might call a modern Marie Antoinette. She’s a stone cold fox and it’s lovely to see her and McCarthy on screen together again in a different capacity.

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Jason Statham is on point as brainless but tough spy Rick Ford. We’ve never seen Statham like this before and he is fantastic opposite McCarthy. He could quite possibly the favorite character in the movie. Jude Law, Allison Janney and Miranda Hart round out the cast and it’s clear that the ensemble had a great time together while making the movie.

The movie is beautifully shot by cinematographer Robert D. Yeoman (2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel) and who also shot Paul Feig’s The Heat and Bridesmaids. There is a particularly exciting fight sequence between McCarthy and Nargis Fakhri, who plays another villain in the film. The two spar in a restaurant kitchen; between the veggies flying around, the knife throwing and the slow motion mixed in, it’s just a cool looking scene.

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Most of the comedic moments in Spy are given away in the trailer, so try and avoid that if you can, and some of the jokes fell flat. That is the main disappointment of the film; it felt like I had already seen half of the movie. Though the film makes up for it as a great spy and mystery film over a comedy. There are twists and turns that are unexpected and McCarthy is a force to be reckoned with as an action star.

Led by a terrific cast, Spy works as a well-oiled action flick with mystery components and entertaining action sequences. Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig will be rocking the box office once again.

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