I've made no secret of how much I love "Bridesmaids," which cracked my Top 10 in 2011. It was smart. It was funny. It showed (gasp) you can have a successful comedy that's anchored by a mostly female cast.
I’ve made no secret of how much I love “Bridesmaids,” which cracked my Top 10 in 2011. It was smart. It was funny. It showed (gasp) you can have a successful comedy that’s anchored by a mostly female cast.
It also marked the big-screen breakout of Melissa McCarthy, who has become something of a national comedic treasure.
Her third teaming with “Bridesmaid” director Paul Feig (with “The Heat” in between) is a spoof called simply “Spy.” With moments of smart low-brow comedy (one of my favorite kinds), it could have been one of the funniest movies of the year. And thanks to a solid cast, it sometimes is.
McCarthy plays a CIA analyst who works a support job at a desk. A series of events lead her into active duty. Hilarity generally ensues.
Feig and McCarthy know funny, and McCarthy is a real MVP here for bringing the bulk of the laughs and pretty much all of the heart. Not the usual bumbling spy, her character is actually quite capable, if only lacking confidence and support.
Where “Spy” goes a bit awry is in layering an espionage plot that is more complex than it needs to be and trying to work in too much action. There are plenty of ways to see explosions and car chases this summer. This one could have used a little more humanity and a sharper focus on less-physical laughs.
Also featured in the cast are a pair of prototypical Bond-type spies (Jude Law, Jason Statham), Rose Byrne again showing her comedic timing as a villain and Miranda Hart in the supporting role that aims to be the breakout.
Essentially, “Spy” seems to take a talented team and weigh it down with a Hollywood-approved checklist. You could do worse. They could do better.
20th Century Fox photo