Spy ca­per has lots of laughs

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket -

Af­ter steal­ing the show in a sup­port­ing role in 2011’s Brides­maids, Melissa McCarthy has strug­gled to es­tab­lish her comedic tal­ents in a se­ries of medi­ocre en­tries to the genre (Iden­tity Thief, Tammy).

Thank­fully, es­pi­onage ca­per Spy is just what the doc­tor or­dered for the 44-year-old with a mem­o­rable role as a desk-bound CIA an­a­lyst forced into the field to in­fil­trate the world of a deadly arms dealer.

It’s per­haps no co­in­ci­dence that McCarthy re-teams with Brides­maids writer-direc­tor Paul Feig for her re­turn to form as he re­wards his star with a love­able trans­for­ma­tion from timid glo­ri­fied sec­re­tary to ter­ror­ist-tack­ling hero­ine.

Tak­ing a more slap­stick-yet-ma­ture route down the spy spoof path than this year’s Kings­man: The Se­cret Ser­vice, Feig also proves once again that he’s a more than ad­e­quate hand at fe­male-led hi-jinks.

The direc­tor also tips his bowler hat to the role Brits have played in es­tab­lish­ing the genre by fill­ing his cast with a host of faces familiar to th­ese shores.

Like Colin Firth in Kings­man, Jude Law (Bradley Fine) fi­nally gets to sam­ple a taste of what life as 007 would be like and Ja­son Statham (Rick Ford) has a ball play­ing against type in a straight turn that pokes fun at his big-screen rep­u­ta­tion.

Mi­randa Hart, on the other hand, does play to ex­pec­ta­tions in her big­gest movie role to date — no, Ma­gi­cians and The In­fi­del don’t count! – and Scouser Peter Ser­afi­now­icz’s over-the-top Ital­ian chauf­feur Aldo would be bet­ter suited to the Austin Pow­ers uni­verse.

McCarthy’s Brides­maids co-star Rose Byrne (Rayna Boy­anov) has been fun­nier, but her vil­lai­ness is a de­cent ver­bal and phys­i­cal foil for our hero­ine — and there’s a mem­o­rable cameo from a game 50 Cent.

Feig doesn’t scrimp on the ac­tion ei­ther and throws McCarthy into in­creas­ingly danger­ous sit­u­a­tions, al­beit never los­ing sight of his film’s com­edy stylings.

Whereas Ja­son Bourne would en­gage in hand-to-hand com­bat with knife-wield­ing evil agents, McCarthy’s Su­san Cooper grabs what­ever she can get her hands on (a fry­ing pan) and isn’t afraid to com­man­deer a scooter to chase down the bad guys.

A neat run­ning gag also sees her dressed as a cat-lov­ing, frumpy tourist that’s a long way from the tuxedo-sport­ing Bond and there are no laser pens or dart-fir­ing watches on of­fer to Su­san in the field; in­stead she’s armed with items in­clud­ing pep­per spray and stool soft­ener.

Feig throws in a late twist that’s sign­posted so clearly it could be seen from space, but rounds things up in sat­is­fy­ing fash­ion nonethe­less, con­clud­ing with a hi­lar­i­ous fi­nal scene.

A solo ve­hi­cle wor­thy of its en­gag­ing, ri­otous lead­ing star, Spy is a true crowd­pleaser that Bonds with its au­di­ence to cre­ate the big­gest and best laughs of the year so far.

Point to prove McCarthy turns to es­pi­onage in Spy

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