McCoy on Movies: Spy
KEY CAST MEMBERS: Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Allison Janey, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Serafinowicz, Morena Baccarin and Miranda Hart
WRITER(S): Paul Feig
In any case, Fine, Ford and all the rest of the main agents find themselves comprised when Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), daughter of a nuclear arms dealer, makes all of their secret identities. With no one else available to go in to get close enough to see who she plans to sell the weapon to, Susan – who has trained but never actually worked as a field agent – volunteers much to the surprise of her boss Elaine (Allison Janey), the delight of her fellow eyes-and-ears co-worker Nancy (Miranda Hart) … and dismay of Ford, who may be prompted to take matters into his own hands.
May the best spy win.
Spy features a lot of things that, for whatever reason, you only get in about three-to-four comedies a year, those things being (1) a well written script that both parodies and honors the genre it is showcasing; (2) dedicated performances that never come off as silly despite the inherent humor they produce and (3) women featured in prominent roles in a comedy that doesn’t suffer because of or exploit the fact they are women. Nope, there is none of that in Spy. Instead, what you are pleasantly treated to is a character that is very self aware of how she is perceived and uses it to great effect to make her sympathetic and funny without ever being sad. McCarthy really puts a great amount of effort into her character to bring out a well-rounded (no pun intended) array of emotions, all of which bring about laughter. She emotes fear, sadness, confidence, quick-thinking, strength and sarcasm all without you ever questioning any of her decisions or motivations, which is the highest compliment I can pay a performance as strong as it is enjoyable.
Of course, it certainly helps that McCarthy has a great bunch of actors to work with throughout the film. Statham plays against type so shockingly well it’s, well, shocking! His über-confident yet seemingly uncoordinated spy basically makes fun of everything the James Bond genre (yes, those spy movies are basically their own genre now) has come to be known for with true comedic aplomb while Peter Serafinowicz is equally hilarious playing the opposite end of the spectrum as an over-the-top lothario spy more interested in getting it on than getting the bad guy (or in this case, girl).
Likewise, Byrne and Hart are deliver equally sharp turns in their roles as for every biting quip Byrne drops on McCarthy and those around her as a super-frustrated villainess, Hart has a genteel, lovingly awkward action in return. The other men in the cast aren’t left out in the fun, either. For Law plays the straight man perfectly at every turn to allow the humor to flow out at a natural pace, all of which works and works well and Cannavale equally plays the idea of a suave villain with a knowing wink and nod to the camera throughout the entire affair. Throw in a copious amount of humor arising from situations you (A) didn’t see coming and (B) wouldn’t expect to be so funny and Spy delivers from start to finish.
Hopefully, that secret won’t be one among audiences when it hits theaters this June.