The Flick Chicks

Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

Spy | Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Allison Janney, Jude Law, Miranda Hart, Peter Serafinowicz, Bobby Cannavale | Review

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Jacqueline  Monahan

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Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for
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Spy | Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Allison Janney, Jude Law, Miranda Hart, Peter Serafinowicz, Bobby Cannavale | Review

Looks are deceiving.

Who’d guess that timid (but smart) CIA agent/analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) working in a bat-and-mouse infested basement command center in Langley, Virginia would get the chance go undercover, use secret weapons, and shadow Bulgarian crime boss’s daughter Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) on a case that involves the location of a nuclear weapon?


Cooper is desperate for answers after the disappearance of her CIA-in-the-field crush, debonair Bradley Fine, who, unfortunately, only thought of her as a kitschy utensil, even though her earpiece guidance from headquarters saved his life while on missions many times before.

Cooper’s own boss, Director of NCS Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney) reluctantly sends the eager though inexperienced agent to Europe with an assortment of dumpy, unassuming aliases (cat lady, housewife).  

The disguises are terrible (polyester pantsuits, Dynel granny wigs) the weapons embarrassing (stool softener and hemorrhoid wipes), but Cooper is off to Paris to locate Rayna, the one person who knows the location of a dirty bomb (suitcase nuke).  Several countries later, Cooper saves the cruel but sophisticated Rayna from being poisoned, using an unauthorized identity/ploy to become her trash-talking bodyguard.  

Veteran agent Nick Ford (Jason Statham) resents Cooper’s inexperience, showing up to conduct his own unauthorized investigation, playing everything straight – straight over the top, that is.  His stories of dangerous assignments, escapes, mishaps, and injuries, while practically spitting his lines in sneering outrage is another jewel in this crown of a spoof.

Cooper is aided by horny Italian agent Aldo (Peter Serafinowicz) and BFF CIA pal Nancy (Miranda Hart) as Rayna eventually leads them to an Italian contact, playboy DeLuca (Bobby Cannavale) who wants the bomb – for a price.

No spoilers here.  This is the kind of film where you can know everything that happens without ruining anything; the treasure is in the “how” not the “what.”

Twists and turns in the plot do not suppress the humor which McCarthy never fails to inject.  Her baby face makes the torrent of F-bombs that spew from her mouth even more humorous.  Hart is also a source of hilarious utterances and asides.  Serafinowicz’s Aldo, obsessed with female breasts and wet kisses, is never in too much danger to sex up a situation.  Together these two support McCarthy like a JogBra.

Statham is a force of nature, ramping up his daring Bond-like character into a ludicrous parody of intrepid intrigue and hubris.

Byrne’s cool and cruel Rayna, lobs her own F-bombs without disturbing her hair or her viper-like demeanor with a wardrobe described as “slutty dolphin trainer” by Cooper.

Director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat) makes a tiny slapstick cameo, then gets out of the way and lets his heroine do the heavy lifting (no pun intended).  McCarthy wears the story like a gown, wrapping events around her person and having her way with them.  Cooper mixes moxie with missteps (vomit, cement, lack of balance) to outwit the slick and the sneaky.

It’s no secret that this Spy is one you’ll want to follow.

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