Tom Basham


In This Just OUT on June 6, 2015 at 12:41 pm

spy_POSTERI had to see “Spy” because I had to know the truth: Could Paul Feig (“The Heat”) be the new comic genius he seems to be?

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy from “St. Vincent”) has been at the CIA for 10 years. She’s one of the behind-the-scenes people who coordinate the activities of her favorite agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law from “The Grand Budapest Hotel“). When Fine gets killed and loses track of a suitcase nuclear bomb, the CIA finds out that the bad guys know the identities of all their undercover agents.

The next best agent, Rick Ford (Jason Statham from “Wild Card“), wants to go after them, but his cover is blown. Susan volunteers for field duty to get vengeance against those who killed Fine. Her experience with the case and anonymity trump her lack of field experience. While Susan goes off on her first field assignment, Ford goes rogue to break the case on his own. Of course he and Susan keep running into each other and the clash of class and styles is comical.

McCarthy is at her best when she is being underestimated. This genre and this character are a good fit for her. Her training helps her solve the case. However, her instinct is to overcome her insecurities with sarcasm and smart-ass remarks. It works for the character, and it works for the humor, and it’s just unconventional enough to solve the case and save the world.

Feig has struck the right tone here, where the bullets are real and nobody is going for the joke. The funny falls out of the farce created by McCarthy bringing her special skills to the spy scene. She has a fight scene in a kitchen that is as good as any I have seen. The fact that it’s in a kitchen just plays off the gender stereotype that takes a beating here too.

I really enjoyed this movie. They didn’t try too hard or make everything into some kind of hack joke. I was surprised and pleased with each plot twist and impressed by how they made a good movie first and a funny movie just seemed to happen organically out of the characters and the situation. For that reason, I must give this movie 4 stars out of 5. This answered my age-old question; when you need a great comedy, who are you gonna call? Feig and McCarthy start shooting “Ghostbusters” in two weeks.

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker. Here is a link to his movie review site:


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