Movie Date: Spy
With Melissa McCarthy and company providing top-notch entertainment, we spy a hit date movie
STARRING: Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Jason Statham, Jude Law
DIRECTOR: Paul Feig
THE SKINNY: Cooper (McCarthy) is a desk-bound CIA analyst and agent who works as the eyes and ears of Bradley Fine (Law), who is known as the super-spy because of her, via satellite guidance. When Fine is indisposed, Cooper volunteers to go out on the field and hunt down US enemy number one, Bulgarian arms dealer Raina (Byrne).
THE CONSENSUS: With McCarthy and company providing top-notch entertainment, we spy a hit date movie
Spy spoofs must be one of the most popular breeds of spoofs.
Just off the top of my head there's Austin Powers, Get Smart, Spy Kids, Johnny English and Spy Hard.
The joke in all these flicks is basically the same: An everyday person tries to be James Bond.
They bumble along and look really silly, but finally get the bad guy.
One wonders why Bond even needs to be spoofed, as the franchise itself often borders on self-parody.
Still, McCarthy is really pretty funny in a rather thankless role.
The reason she has become a movie star is that she's able to inject humanity into cardboard characters foisted upon her.
She has really great chemistry with the bad girl played by Byrne.
Of course, Byrne gets to have a lot more fun, with her exotic accent, slinky clothes and devil-may-care attitude.
The hot always get to have more fun.
As for the supporting cast - Law! Statham! - they are almost overkill.
There was a point in Law's career when it seemed conceivable that he might actually play Bond one day, and here we get a little taste of it.
Put a wig on that guy and he's gangbusters.
Statham almost steals the show as McCarthy's over-eager colleague.
Just tweak his tough guy persona one tiny bit, and he's suddenly hilarious.
Looks like Feig can do no wrong when McCarthy is his leading lady.
Their third collaboration has struck gold again, and much like Bridesmaids and The Heat, Spy thrives on her comic timing and her chemistry with her female co-stars.
McCarthy has established herself as a formidable player despite not looking like a typical Hollywood actress.
Feig clearly knows she's hugely underestimated in the business and writes her a role that plays on her unassuming qualities.
Though Cooper's abilities and looks are constantly the butt of all jokes, she knows how to think on her feet and improvise on the spot.
McCarthy is pure gold here as she tackles physical comedy, and does many things we've not seen her do before on the big screen.
Her mouth is still filthy, but there's also this sense of sweetness that she brings to Cooper that wins you over immediately.
It's no wonder Byrne's villain takes to her too.
Speaking of Byrne (Bridesmaids, Bad Neighbours), the Aussie actress also continues her winning streak as a comedienne, making her spoilt brat arms dealer role ever so funny.
But the biggest surprise isn't how well the ladies, including Miranda Hart as Cooper's sidekick Nancy, sizzle on screen.
It's Statham, who steals the scene every time he shows up. Seriously, who knew he could be such a hoot?