SIFF Says:Emmy-winning and Oscar®-nominated comic tour-de-force Melissa McCarthy brings her unique blend of slapstick and wit to this side-splitting, action-packed, globetrotting spy comedy from the mind of Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids and co-creator of NBC’s cult television show “Freaks and Geeks.” McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, a frumpy desk-bound CIA operative and analyst responsible for the safety of partner and secret agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law, Sherlock Holmes). But when Fine suddenly succumbs to a bullet courtesy of Bulgarian assassin Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne, Neighbors), Cooper is galvanized into action, convincing her agency chief (Allison Janney, “The West Wing”) to allow her to go undercover, travel to Europe, and avenge her partner’s death with the help of excitable colleague Nancy (Miranda Hart, “Call the Midwife”), a lecherous Italian agent (Peter Serafinowicz, Guardians of the Galaxy), and her two fists—Cagney and Lacey. With a superb ensemble cast that includes Morena Baccarin (“Homeland”), Bobby Cannavale (“Boardwalk Empire”), 50 Cent, and a game Jason Statham hysterically spoofing the tough guy image he’s cultivated since Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Spy plays off the tried-and-true tropes of espionage thrillers with an unbridled glee, combining big laughs with even bigger action sequences into an overwhelmingly entertaining secret mission.
In Paul Feig’s Freaks and Geeks, Linda Cardellini spent a year lusting after James Franco.Spy, Feig’s third comedy with Melissa McCarthy, may look different--explosions! exotic locales!--but it employs a similar dynamic. McCarthy’s CIA analyst nurses a crush on Jude Law’s secret agent, but when Rose Byrne’s bad gal gets her hands on him, McCarthy takes his place and finds her inner Wonder Woman. It’s action movie as empowerment manifesto. (KATHY FENNESSY)
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