There are loads of takes on the Spy genre at the moment. I have already spoken of my first time admiration for Kingsman: The Secret Service. The Man From Uncle is out, as is the latest Mission Impossible film. James Bond is on the way in Spectre. Spy is a comedic take on the genre pitched slightly more seriously than Austin Powers; unlike Doctor Evil, the villains are deadly and competent, even if the same cannot be said for all of our heroine’s colleagues.
I’ve not seen Melissa McCarthy in anything before, but I really enjoyed her performance here. The movie has attracted criticism for stereotyping fat people and/or single women, especially in its first act, but I like its honesty, and it all works in the context of the arc. McCarthy is a great comedic performer, and is ably supported with a fine supporting cast. Jason Statham, going for laughs again after appearing as an action hero in a series of movies, is a revelation.
The movie is vulgar and sweet all at the same time. It’s impossible not to root for McCarthy’s character, and mercifully, the movie doesn’t bother with any of the training shit you’d normally see when a “normal person” becomes extraordinary. She’s a qualified agent at the start of the movie; just shoehorned into an admin role while others took the field jobs.
Big scores on Metacritic. Not sure how it’ll hold up on repeated viewings, but the debut view was a blast. Recommended.