Following the death of one of their own, the CIA realizes that the enemy at hand, Rayna Bayonov (Rose Byrne), knows the identity of all their agents, they are at a loss of who to send in undercover. It’s then that desk-worker and analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) steps up to the plate, her superior gives her the mission, much to the chagrin of fellow agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham). Cooper must now use all (and any) skills she’s gained in order to keep a disguise and earn Rayna’s trust in order to prevent a global disaster involving dangerous arm dealers.
Paul Feig brings us another Melissa McCarthy headlined film. However, this one feels like a step down for the husband and wife duo. The plot is a pretty basic spy comedy that plays out much like any film of its kind, despite having a few twists. The twists themselves ,while not shocking, add some spice to the story. However, in the long run, it drags on much longer than it needs to. There is only so much they can spew out with a story like this before it gets tiring. The excessive length seems like it only wants to be longer not for story purposes, but just to see how much humorous moments by McCarthy they can cram in. It’s even in this case that the length weakens a lot of the laughs. The major funny moments don’t even happen until shortly after an hour into the film, and even after that, the laughs aren’t anything compared to McCarthy/Feig’s previous work, but it does have some decent action and fight scenes for those who love that with Melissa. Despite the length, McCarthy is still…McCarthy. She has her nerdy woman moments, but it’s the moments where she gets into foul-mouth mode and verbal fights with characters that she’s at her best in this. As a matter of fact, most of the cast does well with their comedic timing. Surprisingly Jason Statham shows that he’s more than just a straight up action star, he actually has a knack for comedy (granted this is also an action role), but it shows he does have the potential for more. And finally we have our bad girl character in Rose Byrne who is one of the characters whom McCarthy has the better screen presence with. Their back and forths with each other were great, and Byrne hits all of the right notes in her role. In some ways, you can see in her face that she’s giving it her all to hold back laughter but manages to stay collected.
Spy is easily my least favorite McCarthy film, but I wouldn’t call it horrible. Had it been shorter and focused more on being funny than dragging out its average story, it might have been better. But its biggest strengths come from its cast bringing in the comedy with their interactions.