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article imageReview: 'Spy' is an unexpectedly hilarious action movie Special

By Michael Thomas     Jun 5, 2015 in Entertainment
Though 'Spy' isn't the first spy movie to come out this year, it manages to hold its own with nearly non-stop laughs and great performances from Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham and Peter Serafinowicz.
Spy is another reunion for Melissa McCarthy and director Paul Feig — they previously worked Bridesmaids and The Heat together — but this is the first where McCarthy is tasked with carrying the entire movie on her shoulders. She excels at the task in a nearly two-hour film that rarely goes a few seconds without laughs.
Susan Cooper (McCarthy) is a somewhat shy but extremely competent FBI agent who does the "behind-the-scenes" work to make sure agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law) gets through his missions successfully. But when a mission goes seriously wrong and every agent's cover is blown, Susan is the only agent who can stop a nuclear device from being purchased and detonated in New York City. Her mission becomes even more difficult when the profane and fairly foolish Rick Ford (Jason Statham) comes long for the ride.
From the in medias res opening with Bradley on a mission to the final, unexpected "stinger," Spy is packed full of laughs, both in the venomous dialogue spoken by hero and villain alike and over-the-top comedy. Statham has turned in perhaps his funniest performance ever. Admittedly, Ford is not far from the tough guy he plays in every movie he's ever done, but at least here he's completely self-aware and milks it for its comedic value. Peter Serafinowicz nearly steals the show as the lecherous but effective agent Aldo. Miranda Hart is fun as the nervous Nancy Artingstall. There's even a somewhat baffling cameo from rapper 50 Cent to further shake things up,
Susan takes on a dangerous woman in  Spy
Susan takes on a dangerous woman in 'Spy'
20th Century Fox
Much credit goes to Feig for finally giving McCarthy a more balanced role — she seems to be stuck always playing the profane sidekick, but the role of Susan is a bit more complex. Her feelings toward Bradley make her meek when she's speaking in his earpiece, but as her mission becomes more and more infuriating (not to mention the horrible assumed identities and costumes she has to cycle through) the veneer cracks and it feels earned as she begins to curse everyone up and down for the rest of the film.
The movie's pace never lets up, always throwing in a few high-octane fights and chases in between Susan's attempts to get a leg up on her situation. There are myriad close calls right out of old action movies (the film's final villain spends far too much time talking about how he's going to kill everyone before pulling the trigger) and a couple of scenes that turn old clichés on their heads.
Though a more stylish and well-done spy movie was released this year, Spy is a highly entertaining thrill ride.
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