Watch Your Back, 007
I can’t help worrying when my expectations run high for a movie. Many disappointments have been the result of being too optimistic. Dark Shadows comes immediately to mind. No wonder I am on cloud nine after watching Spy, a James Bond spoof for the ages. Talk about exceeding expectations! The preview promised laughs and action, but the film delivers so much more. Perfect performances, great production values, female power, and humorous surprises fill the screen.
Undercover? She’s much too shy.
Yet smart and brave like that Bond guy.
So off she goes to stop a plan
and prove to all a woman can.
Laughter abounds in this Spy spoof
that’s such a hoot with each fun goof.
James Bond had best watch out this time.
A new franchise may steal his dime.
Kudos to all -- the cast and crew!
Spy deserves cheers, more than a few.
Leading lady Melissa McCarthy wins us over completely as Susan Cooper, an unassuming CIA analyst who provides tech support to sophisticated, handsome Agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law) when he’s on perilous missions. We see how much she cares for Fine, and how she tries to hide her feelings from him. Our concern for Susan soon moves into overdrive as she volunteers to go undercover on a dangerous assignment of her own, despite her lack of confidence about “field duty”-- even though she excelled in training.
During this important mission, Rick Ford (Jason Statham) becomes one of Susan’s obstacles. Rick is a CIA agent who tries to handle everything despite orders not to interfere. He’s convinced that no woman, especially Susan, could be capable of completing the assignment successfully. Will Rick, a loose cannon, help or ruin Susan’s efforts to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer? What a treat to see action star Statham being so hilarious in a comic role like this!
The mission in question requires finding the wealthy, glamorous Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) and stopping her nefarious plans that could lead to global disaster. And here’s where the real fun begins for viewers. McCarthy and Byrne play characters who are opposites in almost every way, including their looks and their values. But, regardless of Susan and Rayna’s many raunchy call downs, they project a feeling for each other that borders on respect. Their scenes together are highly amusing and absolutely priceless. Writer/director Paul Feig directed McCarthy and Byrne before in the popular Bridesmaids, and he has another winner with Spy.
Two other actresses add to the film’s feminist emphasis. Allison Janney excels as a no-nonsense Agency director, and Miranda Hart turns in a wonderful performance as another self-effacing CIA employee who proves her worth in the field.
Impeccable production values make Spy look like a bona fide James Bond movie. The film boasts thrilling action shots, beautiful locations, intriguing gadgets, and so forth. But this is a comedy, so -- most important of all -- very funny things happen in practically every scene. I can hardly wait for the sequel.
(Released by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and rated “R” for language throughout, violence, and some brief graphic nudity.)
For more information about Spy, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.