‘Spy’: McCarthy, Melissa McCarthy

If thereand’s one thing for sure, itand’s that Melissa McCarthy is a spectacular comedy actress with so many different tricks at her disposal she never ceases to amaze or disappoint.
The action-comedy and”Spyand” is her third collaboration with writerdirector Paul Feig their previous films and”Bridesmaidsand” and and”The Heatand” were not only successful with critics and at the box office, but also managed to topple various gender expectations from Hollywood. Both films were led by female characters with men in supporting roles and proved that women could also attract mainstream audiences without being extensions of their male counterparts. Feig and McCarthy continue with this choice, and although and”Spyand” might not be a beacon of feminist theory, it is definitely a big step in juggling around dynamics of the representation of women on screen.
Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is a 40-year-old CIA analyst, and despite being top of her class in the academy, she has ever since been sentenced to a desk job in the and”basementand” — her main task is to assist field operatives with their undercover missions by guiding them through her technological gadgets via their inbuilt headphones. Susan does the real job in these missions, working almost like a puppet master as she devises escape routes and shortcuts for the agents in the field. Her partner is the dashing James Bond-esque Bradley Jones (Jude Law) whom she has a huge crush on, but much like her boss and colleagues, he dismisses Susan as if she were a secretary and believes that sheand’s a fat loser condemned to a life in the office. Susanand’s heart, however, is in the field, if only she could rise above her self-esteem problems and put herself out there.
Yet an opportunity arises — Bradley is killed off by Bulgarian, super-rich and evil Rayna Boyanov (the acerbic yet lovely Rose Byrne, who also starred in and”Neighborsand” and andquotBridesmaidsandquot) who has already discovered all the names of the CIA operatives in the field and is out to exterminate them, while shopping around for customers to sell her daddyand’s nuclear weapon in the black market. Since Rayna has no clue of Susanand’s identity, Susan is sent by her tough-cookie boss (Allison Janney) on a globetrotting track-and-report mission through Paris and Budapest to tail the woman. Hereand’s the sad but funny part — Susan thinks sheand’s going to receive a glamorous new identity in the field, but she is consistently assigned demeaning identities, for example a Midwestern housewife who owns 17 cats and carries around hemorrhoid pills in her purse. She says to her best friend from the office Nancy (the amicable Miranda Hart) and”I look like someoneand’s homophobic auntand” as she puts on her hideous wig and flea market clothes.
Nevertheless, our dear Susan goes out into the field and gives it her best shot. Sure, she fumbles and falters but gradually she proves to herself, her colleagues and enemies alike that sheand’s one hell of a super agent who can use her wits, humor and physical skills in the face of aersity. Aided by Italian spy Aldo (Peter Serafinowicz) and rogue agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham, who intentionally makes fun of his meat-headed action roles), Susan shoots her gun, gives a punch or two and even flies an airplane as she gathers the intelligence to frame Rayna and her arms dealer, the slimy Sergio De Luca (Bobby Cannavale) whoand’s also got some diabolical plans of his own.
The plot swings into preposterous trajectories, but by the end of the first 30 minutes we really stop looking for any kind of logic or sense in this spy movie spoof, which serves mainly as a vehicle to tap into McCarthyand’s ability for physical comedy and action. She pulls off both with admirable balance, ensuring that this hybrid genre is given full force.
Moreover, Susan is an immensely likable character who not only has a good heart and self-deprecating humor but is also armed with a sense of responsibility that doesnand’t stop her from being forceful. Deep down, and”Spyand” is a story that manages to illustrate a lonely and insecure womanand’s journey of empowerment through a genre that doesnand’t have much room for taking itself seriously and making a political statement. Perhaps this is the reason it stands out like a pearl in the hoard of forgettable action comedies.
This is one entertaining parody that unexpectedly appreciates all its characters (even the caricatures) and has a heart of gold. Itand’s the perfect feel-good movie for summer.