‘Spy’ Review Roundup: Critics Praise Melissa McCarthy’s Latest Action Comedy
Melissa McCarthy re-teamed with Bridesmaids and The Heat director Paul Feig for comedic caper flick Spy, which is hitting theaters this weekend with glowing reviews.
In Spy, McCarthy plays desk-bound CIA analyst Susan Cooper. When a mission comes up that will require someone outside the agency’s group of seasoned field agents, Cooper steps up to the plate. Tasked with taking down a global arms dealer, Susan heads to Budapest with the help of veteran agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham), and finds her match in the haughty Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne).
While McCarthy has enjoyed both critical and commercial success with her recent string of comedies, Spy could be her best yet, according to reviews of her latest collaboration with Feig. In Spy, which Feig also wrote, McCarthy gets to use all of the skills in her acting arsenal – not just her improvisational verbal sparring or slapstick gags.
“In Spy, a lunatic cloak-and-dagger farce directed by Bridesmaids‘ Paul Feig, the unabashed comedienne with the plus-size figure — and plus-size attitude to go with it — gets the perfect fit of a starring role. As Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst working with high-tech surveillance systems and low-self-esteem issues, McCarthy plays whip-smart and wacky, plucky and potty-mouthed, a woman with some impressive skill sets – and all the wants and needs of someone whose job is way more rewarding than her personal life.” – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
“It’s all outrageously entertaining, from Susan’s makeovers, frumpy to fab, to the lethal weapons disguised as stool softeners and hemorrhoid patches. All the actors come up aces. And let’s bottle the delicious byplay between McCarthy and Byrne, whose comic timing is bitchy perfection. It’s a kick to watch as McCarthy comes out blazing while creating a character who cuts right to the heart. McCarthy is totally irresistible. Ditto the movie.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“The spy caper clicks where other McCarthy vehicles clanked because it gives her a well-drawn role that plays to her strengths as both a comedian and a character actress. But “Spy” is more than a souped-up star vehicle. It’s an inspired team effort where all elements gel: a game cast, a sharp director and a substantive screenplay with a feminist kick and surprises aplenty.” – Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News
“Paul Feig, the director who made McCarthy a star, has finally written his own script for his muse — his first screenplay in 12 years. In Spy, McCarthy is soft, feminine and smart. Feig loves Susan, and he wants us to love her, too. Yet Spy is too sincere about how the rest of the world treats her — and women like her — to smack on a stupidly happy ending. Susan might save the day, but her battle for respect will never be over. Admitting that universal struggle is better than pretending all a woman needs to redeem herself is a gun.” – Amy Nicholson, LA Weekly
Spy, rated R, is currently in wide release.