'Spy' - Movie Review

I watched "The Heat" fairly recently, another movie directed by Paul Feig and starring Melissa McCarthy. It's theoretically a comedy (odd couple cops forced to work together), but broadly drawn, heavy-handed, and not particularly funny. I admit that may just be me as it did reasonably will with critics, at 65% on Rotten Tomatoes. But my view on that movie has ensured I'll never watch "Bridesmaids" - between it being Feig and the gross-out gags. So you can guess that I approached this one with some trepidation. It also means this review probably won't be overly useful to people who are good with broad humour: you know who you are.

McCarthy plays CIA analyst Susan Cooper who guides her field partner Bradley Fine (Jude Law) with current intel in his earpiece at all times. She's extremely good at it, and with her help Fine remains the top agent at the agency. The interplay between the two is pretty funny. Neither McCarthy nor Feig believes in subtlety, so they make it eminently clear from the get-go that Cooper is in love with Fine. And this leads to what I consider the worst and least funny scene in the movie, with Cooper swooning over Fine at dinner. Plot devices happen, and Cooper volunteers to go into the field. Subtlety is again completely lacking, but I have to admit some of the set pieces and characters (particularly Jason Statham, who redefines the term "rogue agent") are hilarious.

The mid- and after-credits scene with McCarthy and Statham is a wonderfully unclear blend of post-event celebration and outtake - and also cripplingly funny and worth the price of admission. I think the movie as a whole would have been funnier if it was less heavy-handed, but the skewering of the entire spy genre is impressive and occasionally quite brilliant.