SPY – A Review by John Strange

DF-10916_R_CROP - Melissa McCarthy infiltrates an arms dealing ring led by Rose Byrne (left).
DF-10916_R_CROP – Melissa McCarthy infiltrates an arms dealing ring led by Rose Byrne (left).
By: John ‘Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Paul Feig
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Miranda Hart, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Morena Baccarin
MPAA Rating: R (for language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity)
Selig Rating: FULL PRICE
Runtime: 120 Min.
The best secret agents always have someone watching their backs.  For CIA Agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law), that person, whispering needed intel in his ear, is Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy).  From the bat and rat-infested basement in Langley, Virginia, Susan guides the master spy on his various missions to protect our country.  Her voice tells him when to open doors and round corners to best defeat the bad guys.
For ten years she has taken her training, the same training given to the agents in the field, and used it to watch and talk, not spy.  She is a genius at what she does.  It has enabled Mr. Fine to reach the top of the game.  That is until Bradley accidently shoots Tihomir Boyanov (Raad Rawi) while attempting to get him to disclose the location of the nuke he has up for sale!
Fine is assigned by Assistant Director Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney) to find Boyanov’s daughter, Rayna (Rose Byrne).  As the CIA agent is approaching Rayna’s home, the video picture from the video feed from his video contact begins to destabilize.  Over Susan’s objections Fine continues his entry.  The lack of guards makes Susan even more nervous.  Easily dealing with the few men, Fine is feeling cocky.  Suddenly he is has a gun in his face!  A big gun in the hands of an evil woman!  Rayna pulls the trigger and kills the agent but not before she names ALL of the agency’s top agents to prove she can stop anyone the agency can send.
Assistant Director Crocker calls her best agents together (along with Susan Cooper) to discuss what they can do to stop Boyanov before she can sell the nuke to a terrorist organization.  It is quickly obvious that Rick Ford (Jason Statham) does not agree that keeping all of the known agents away from the case is a good idea.  In fact, he argues his case with a lot of “passion”.
Sadly for Ford, Susan breaks free from her shell.  She volunteers to go into the field.  She has the training and Rayna won’t know her.  After reviewing her file, the assistant director agrees.  Susan goes into the field.  Instead of her dreamed of sophistication she is disguised as dowdy as a woman can come and still have the courage to be seen in public. 
Despite the fact that the agency provides her with a weapon, her orders are to watch but not approach.  Of course, like any film written with secret agents in mind, Susan is soon in the thick of the action, kicking tail and ignoring the names!  She convinces Rayna that Tihomir hired her to protect his daughter.
While Susan is busy protecting Rayna (so she can be there when the sale goes down), she continually runs into Ford.  This macho spy moves through the scenes more like a bull in a china shop than a super spy all the while making claims that will make your eyes water with laughter.
This film has all of the action you would expect from James Bond or perhaps the Bourne or Transporter films with a dose of the raunchy humor that we expect when we watch Melissa McCarthy.  Watching Melissa kick tail is a beautiful thing! 
Rose Byrne proves that she has great comedy chops playing a evil spoiled rich girl. Jason Stratham does an amazing caricature of his own action characters.  Allison Janney does an excellent portrayal as the boss with no sense of humor. 
This is fun watch, a perfect summer action film.  When it makes a ton of money (as I expect it to) I foresee at least one sequel!
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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