Spy is a clever spoof on the Bond-genre spy movies. It features Melissa McCarthy as a CIA employee working in a non-descript office where she uses her instinct and intelligence to serve as the eyes and ears for agents on operations in the field. When the identities of her team members are revealed, McCarthy is selected for a mission to locate a mobile nuclear bomb being shopped around on the black market to the highest bidder. McCarthy’s cover is a frumpy mid-westerner on holiday in Europe, because who could possibly suspect her of being a spy.
What Spy does really well is the action sequences are filmed with a seriousness that would appeal to any aficionado of these spy-genre movies even as such scenes conclude by satirizing the genre. In an industry built on make believe that is hyper-sensitive to image, Melissa McCarthy would never be considered for a Bond girl, yet with a little imagination Spy moves well beyond such short-sightedness by placing McCarthy in the Bond-like role instead. Several comedic lines incorporated in the storyline are about McCarthy’s clothes or appearance, and while the dialogue fits naturally in the context of the scene, it has an added effect of responding to or commenting on the industry’s myopia.
One disappointment was an early scene ends with a vomit sequence that seems to be commonplace in today’s comedies. Audiences must find them funny based on their widespread use, but somehow it seemed misplaced in Spy.
The movie is thoroughly entertaining as a comedy, but the target of its underlying message through the use of wit makes Spy a highly recommended film.