I’m not the biggest Melissa McCarthy fan. Her movies are extremely hit and miss for me, and considering the universally hated; Tammy came out not too long ago, I was not too excited for Spy. “But hey,” I thought. “Jude Law is in it, so why not?” Thank God I didn’t turn my back on this movie as it made me laugh harder than The Other Guys and Grown-Ups put together. Spy is written/directed by Paul Feig, and stars: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, and Jude Law. A woman who serves as the “eye in the sky” for a secret agent gets the chance to go undercover and stop a valuable asset from being transported into the wrong hands.
Right off the bat I have to say that it is one of the most ‘well put together’ comedies I have ever seen. Some critics have said that you should judge whatever movie your critiquing based on what genre it is in. For example, ‘judge Annabelle based on how scary it is’. Though that is somewhat true (a movie should succeed in its genre), if we judged a movie based solely on how funny, scary or action-packed it is, that would mean crap like Annabelle would be good movies. After all, how can a funny character do anything funny unless the story puts them in comical scenarios? Spy understands this. It sends Susan (McCarthy) all over the world and puts her in scenes begging for something to go awry so she can provide a very satisfactory punchline. What is even more amazing is that if you took the comedy element out of this movie, an interesting, unpredictable, thrilling spy film would take its place. There have been three (that I know of) comedic spy movies that were intended to parody the spy genre that came out in this year (weird, right?): Mortdecai, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and now Spy. I never saw Mortdecai, but I did watch/review Kingsman and I can easily say that Spy surpasses that movie with panache. The problem I had with Kingsman was the poor blend of drama and comedy. In Spy, the movie clearly knows it is a comedy/parody and never got too serious, thus, the fun never stopped for me. Oh yeah, the comedy. Man, this movie is hilarious. Great timing, perfect casting, and again, a progressive and inventive story made this movie one of the best comedies I have ever seen. The actors are all top notch, the direction, though not better than Kingsman, is still great, and 93% of the jokes are pure gold.
At this point you’re probably wondering what I did not like about this movie. Besides the other 7% of the jokes, the story did get a bit unnecessarily ‘twisted’ around the third act and it left me utterly confused for about 10 minutes. No story in a comedy should be that complicated, but I can move past it. One thing that did get a little distracting was the plethora of profanity. One thing I have noticed about Paul Feig is his love of infamous four-letter words and that is what made The Heat (another movie he directed) a bad experience for me. Although foul language is not as rampant in this movie, they are still there, and they do distract from the plot and get grating after a while. However, believe me, this movie is outstandingly funny, well-written, and has arguably Melissa’s best performance to date, it is extreeeeemly rated R though (you have been warned). Spy gets Guy’s Guru Grade of an A.