Review: Spy

Comedy films based around the world of spy have been around for a while – most notably, Johnny English. But when it comes to women in spy films – apart from M in James Bond – they tend to be nothing more than the eye candy. That is until Melissa McCarthy’s Spy came along.

When the identity of the CIA’s best agents are revealed, putting their lives at risk, desk-bound Susan Cooper (McCarthy) volunteers to go undercover to follow a deadly arms dealer (Rose Byrne), and prevent a global disaster.

The last Melissa McCarthy comedy I saw was The Heat, and before that Bridesmaids. Both times I was left with around an hour and a half of laugh-less minutes, wishing that I had the ability to wipe those films from my memory and regain the time I had lost. So when the trailers first appeared for Spy, I looked forward to seeing a film where McCarthy wasn’t cast simply as the “fat, gobby one”.

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Luckily, Spy was miles better than The Heat and Bridesmaids and had me chortling the whole way through. With Susan desk-bound, and everyone around her assuming that she owns many cats, when she is placed in the field, she comes into her own. It’s about time that Melissa McCarthy was put into an ass-kicking role, a role usually reserved for buff men. She is absolutely fantastic and her fellow cast members are just as good.

It was great to see Jason Statham turn his hand at comedy – even if he did pronounce a common British swear word the American way which makes no sense! Turning his usual tough-guy persona into a tongue-in-cheek laugh at himself shows he has a real sense of humour, and might be worth considering for more comedic roles in the future.

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While I’m not usually a fan of Miranda Hart’s acting performances, her role in Spy had me in fits. Pairing Hart with an unexpected cameo from 50 Cent was pure genius and I simply could not stop laughing.

If you want funny film with a good dollop of good spy action, this is for you. One of the best films of the year.

This films raises a very valid question – why-oh-why have there been no female spy films before this? It seems like such an obvious premise that Hollywood have regrettably overlooked. After bringing in $29 million in it’s opening weekend alone, Spy is in the top 20 highest grossing films of the year so far. So if the top producers were thinking a film like this wouldn’t work, then they are sorely mistaken. It’s about time Hollywood stepped away from male-centrism and cast more women in kick-ass, leading roles.

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