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REVIEW — “Spy”

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Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is a skilled yet self deprecating behind-the-scenes agent at the CIA. Hopelessly infatuated with her companion field agent, Bradley Fine (Jude Law), Susan realizes that her love is one sided and her life isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it hasn’t been for quite some time. However, an opportunity arises when all of the Field agents’ identities have been compromised in a top secret mission. Having spent her whole CIA career in a basement, the enemy has no idea who she is. So, Susan volunteers to aid in the mission.  Armed with the most dowdy aliases and matronly gadgets, she treks the globe to salvage the mission, and manages to rediscover herself along the way.

Spy follows a pretty basic secret agent story arc with a few twists.  But, where it really shines it how they dive into what it would be like to go on a top secret mission but in the least glamorous way possible. In an organization where the other suave agents are lavished with perks, McCarthy’s character seems to get the bottom of the barrel necessities and is constantly undermined despite her competence.  Spy gets a lot of credit for humorously  tackling serious issues like discrimination and sexism in the workplace.

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I have mixed feelings on the humor of this movie in general. It is really funny, but rarely clever. Most of the humor relies more on the shock value of surprise nudity and nonsensically crude insults. After the first half of the movie, the f-bombs lose their bite and I found myself not laughing as much towards the end.

That being said, Melissa McCarthy herself is hilarious and endearing. Her portrayal of a woman going after what she wants and deserves after a lifetime of being told to “stay put” is spot on and extremely relatable. Rick Ford (Jason Statham) is the best part of the movie.  He has some substantial comedic chops and his scenes with McCarthy are great. He plays his usual BA, lone wolf character, but with an insatiable need to one up everyone, including himself. He is outrageous in a way I have never seen from him and it’s awesome.

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For a comedy, Spy is surprisingly violent. Be aware that there are a lot of headshots, drive-byes and stabbings. Every action scene ends up pretty bloody and is full of cringe-worthy injuries. As funny as Spy is, it’s not for the faint of heart.  If gogurt looking blood makes you queasy, you might want to skip this one. But if you want to see Melissa McCarthy kick some serious butt and cuss everyone out like they deserve, this is your movie.

3.5/5

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