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Monday, April 15, 2024

Director Paul Feig, who brought us the notable favorite “Bridesmaids,” released his new Melissa McCarthy collaboration “Spy” on June 5.

The R-rated flick stars McCarthy as Susan Cooper, a CIA desk jockey who becomes hurled into action as a field agent with the goal of avenging Agent Bradley Fine, her fallen partner played by Jude Law. While the film makes use of typical elements seen in most action-comedy films, the well-scripted raunchy dialogue sets it apart as a must-see feature.

What could have easily been a two-hour rampage of distasteful fat jokes and physical mishaps instead became a clever, blunt comedy where personalities and actions are the butts of the jokes, not appearances.

McCarthy is able to shine under this treatment, giving an impressive performance that strays from ones where the audience is meant to laugh at her, not with her. The rest of the bumbling cast also adds to the fun, particularly Rose Byrne and Miranda Hart. Byrne plays Rayna Boyanov, an intimidating yet snooty antagonist involved in Fine’s death and the selling of nuclear weapons. Hart debuts as Nancy Artingstall, Susan’s goofy best friend who also works for the CIA.

The three play off each other exceptionally well, which is a nice change for the usually male-dominated genre. Jason Statham also makes a memorable appearance as a bitter and ineffective agent, and perhaps less notably but just as amusing is a cameo by rapper 50 Cent, who gets tangled up in the fray.

Despite some of its plot points being predictable, “Spy” manages to be surprising and amusing through its divergence from regular dumb comedies. The timing of one-liners and the progressive humor is refreshing, and poignant themes of friendship and acceptance make for a more satisfying experience. While there are elements of romance, Feig chooses to flip the script at the end in a way that will make viewers rejoice.

With its strong performances and sharp writing, the movie proves to be another win for Paul Feig. “Spy” might just be the year’s best comedy so far, making it worth an overpriced ticket to have some genuine laughs.

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