Melissa McCarthy has always been the comedic heart and soul of the films she stars in; even when in a supporting role, she usually steals the show with her hilarious timings and brilliant delivery. 2014’s Tammy was the first time we’ve seen her falter, but has the chance to redeem herself with the action-comedy hybrid, Spy, with her frequent collaborator, Paul Feig, returning as director. After its successful cinema run back in May, Spy is finally released on DVD and Blu-Ray today.
Susan Cooper, a desk-bound CIA agent, watches her work partner - and romantic love interest – Agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law) seemingly killed by Rayna Boyanov (Rose Bryne), the dangerous daughter who is the only one who knows where her father’s suitcase nuke is located. With Rayna knowing the identities of all the agents, Cooper volunteers to step out from behind the desk and dive, head first, into the field to track down and avenge Boyanov in the process. Friend Nancy (Miranda Hart) offers encouragement, while fellow agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham) undermines her abilities.
Of course, this is entirely Melissa McCarthy’s film, ascertaining her role, once again, as the comedic center, now more than ever. We are already acquainted with her capability to providing the laughs, but she really does shine in the combat scenes too, which serve closer to your Bond-esque action than you would initially suspect. Miranda Hart is a gem in her first major Hollywood appearance, complimenting McCarthy’s humour whilst bringing her own clumsiness. Byrne plays the spoilt brat fascinatingly, while Statham flirts with the line between being arrogant and being unbearable that works (most of the time). Jude Law takes more of a background seat than promotion would have you believe, but that almost makes the twist and turns more surprising.
Ricocheting between America, Rome, Paris and Budapest, much like the globetrotting antics, the laughs and action rarely pause for thought, becoming a constant in the film; serving both, in abundance and in equal measures. With how jam-packed it is with action and humour, you would wind up questioning the narrative success; but it provides a tenacious and broad storyline that you can’t help but engage in– it truly is a breath of fresh air in a landscape of other films that never quite tick all the boxes.
Spy seamlessly merges the genre borders of action and comedy – a amalgam that is rarely seen, nevermind actually working – making the most of a talented cast who have comedic time down to a tee, bringing the belly laughs to the Melissa McCarthy fronted vehicle that remains fresh and progressive throughout. She proves that last outing, Tammy, was nothing more than a bump in the road, proved with Spy, that is as smart as it is action-packed.
Summary: Uproariously funny and a brilliant showcase for Melissa McCarthy’s talent, Spy is one of her strongest offerings and most hilarious comedies of 2015, uniting two genres in a unified piece that works incredibly well.
Highlights: The helicopter finale is a hilarious ending to the film, but McCarthy’s character and talent in general is the real star of the film.