review – spy


Writer-Director Paul Feig knows how to make Melissa McCarthy much funnier in his movies (see “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat”) than in the movies she finds on her own (don’t see either “Tammy” or “Identity Thief”). His secret: surround her with other major league talent, give her a plot to work with that is more than a stretched-thin TV sketch, and instead of making her play a clumsy woman who smashes into things, let her play a caustic woman who can trade verbal barbs with anyone. He’s done all that here and the result is a sometimes very funny movie where the most consistently funny role belongs to…Jason Statham. Yeah, the guy with the strong Cockney accent and shaved head who is usually the super-macho stud who shows up in all of those “Fast and Furious” and “Expendables” movies. Here, he has a blast parodying those roles with f-word-laden dialog that becomes more hilarious as it stretches any possibility of truth way beyond the breaking point.

He’s riffing and McCarthy’s character is listening…or she’s riffing and Rose Byrne’s character is listening…or Byrne is riffing and Jude law’s character is listening…or… The best parts of this movie are when someone is just running at the mouth, spewing miscellaneous venomous insults in a demented, unfiltered, f-word-littered way. And it’s all against a background of double crosses and triple crosses while Director Feig pretends to make a James Bond movie. Although the all-too-familiar plot seems to be drawn out — and one of the most violent fight sequences uses more kitchen utensils than last summer’s “Chef” — the dialog is the most fun. There is some truly crazy stuff being spoken here. And while McCarthy is her usual profane and physical self, and Statham – and Peter Serafinowicz as Aldo, a slimy and horny Italian — are a hoot, this is not a movie that depends on any one person or any one performance. Feig has made another ensemble movie where the whole is more – and much funnier – than its parts. You will laugh. Often and out loud.