“Spy” is a thoroughly satisfying comedy that answers the complaints I had about such clunkers as “Get Hard” and “Hot Pursuit.” Here is a comedy that almost never runs out of gas, and for most of its running time, it’s clever, highly entertaining and — most importantly — very funny.
Melissa McCarthy stars as Susan Cooper, a desk-bound CIA analyst who gets her shot to become a real spy when some agents in the field are attacked and an evil organization is threatening the world with nuclear annihilation. Jude Law co-stars as a spy who may or not be McCarthy’s love interest.
After she goes through James Bond-style training, Cooper suits up and heads out for her mission. That is, until her superiors insist she have a partner, Rick (Jason Statham). Rick wants nothing to do with her but, fortunately for us, they provide nonstop, witty, often hilarious, nasty banter, and together they’re along for the ride.
Rose Byrne stars as Rayna, the head of the organization with a nuclear bomb. Her goal is pretty much the same thing we’ve seen in a lot of Bond movies: sell the device to the highest bidder.
“Spy” does dabble in formula from time to time, with the material taking detours into all the territories I just mentioned. But it also manages to subvert a lot of those clichés with great dialogue and humor.
It loses some energy during the climax, but before that, this is one incredibly funny movie. Much of the credit does go to McCarthy, but it should also go to writer-director Paul Feig. This is the third time McCarthy and Feig have worked together after “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat.” No doubt they will score another big hit with this one.
First, McCarthy and Feig did a wedding movie. Then they did a buddy cop movie, and now they do a spy movie. What’s next? Something to do with ghosts, perhaps? If they can deliver on their next project, they’ll be around for a long time to come.
(Rated R for language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity.)
This review is dedicated to the memory of the Rev. William Miller.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.