International spies have not been this frenetic and madcap since Peter Sellers died.
When Director Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy team up, it inevitably results in a film where you will laugh hysterically even if you lack a sense of humor. They demonstrated their talents in Bridesmaids (2011) and The Heat (2013), and I believe they have surpassed them both with Spy.
Ms. McCarthy is surrounded by a talented cast, and they all deserve special attention. In Ms. McCarthy’s case, she plays Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst tied to her desk in Washington. Her only assignment is to use her computer to serve as the eyes and ears of Bradley Fine, the agency’s top dog. Let me just say that Jude Law turns Mr. Fine into a modern-day James Bond, and Ms. McCarthy yearns for the ability to have the same access to Fine’s pants that she has to his head.
When it becomes apparent that a foreign terrorist group with a desire to sell a nuclear bomb has identified all of the CIA’s main agents, Ms. McCarthy is packed up and sent reluctantly by her boss to Europe. Allison Janney is spot on as her supervisor with a sarcastic attitude, and Ms. McCarthy departs despite finding ridicule in every CIA corner, including that from an arrogant special agent known as Rick Ford.
Jason Statham plays Mr. Ford, and he flamboyantly turns his movie reputation as a tough guy into little more than an arrogant fool. He is sublime at every turn, and he would be the last man on Earth who would recognize anyone else’s talent but his own. Despite his ineptitude, he creates a character for the ages.
Furthermore, I must also say that Rose Byrne finds a way to dominate this film as the Bulgarian terrorist leader known as Rayna Boyanov. She is a sublime elitist totally confident in her own beauty and skills, and her consistent exchanges with Ms. McCarthy where they sarcastically belittle each other rises to a level of crazed sophistication that you have seldom seen on the big screen.
Others make important appearances in this film, starting with Miranda Hart as Ms. McCarthy’s friend Nancy Artingstall. Though neither will likely appear on the cover of Vanity Fair, they both exhibit a charm that makes them beautiful in every sense of the word.
Finally , I also encourage you to remember Peter Serafinowicz, here playing an Italian agent who continually approaches Ms. McCarthy with every sexual advance known to man since Adam left Paradise. He provides a rare performance as a sexist snob who becomes a loveable ally.
Let me close by saying that the film is rated “R” for a reason. While it is violent and hysterically vulgar, it transforms potty mouth behavior into a form of cinematic art. When you combine that with a Bond-type soundtrack that may merit Oscar consideration, you will understand why I have to see this treasure a second time.