Spy Might Be McCarthy's Best Yet

Melissa McCarthy brings 'infectious' laughs
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2015 1:40 PM CDT

Melissa McCarthy stars as a desk-bound CIA agent who heads into the field to seek out revenge for a lost comrade in Spy. As the flick comes from writer-director Paul Feig of Bridesmaids, you won't be surprised to find a female-centric cast. But do they bring the laughs?

  • "Although this fish-out-of-water scenario might sound over-familiar, both the humor and action here are startling and visceral," writes Liam Lacey at the Globe and Mail. Feig is "tightroping between a plausibly suspenseful action film and a comedy where the characters are all the more funny for playing their ridiculous characters straight." As for McCarthy, "she rocks it" in "the kind of double-barreled role she was born to play." The film does run long, but Lacey wants more: a whole franchise worth.
  • Tom Russo agrees the movie starts to drag a bit. But for the most part, it's good fun. "McCarthy doesn't just adopt guises to fool the bad guys," he writes at the Boston Globe. "Part of what makes the action comedy such a loopy blast is the identity shifts she pulls on the audience." The laughs are "infectious," he adds, noting Feig's script "leaves you wondering why he doesn’t write his own projects more often." It leaves Russo with high hopes for McCarthy and Feig's next project, Ghostbusters.

  • "Look out, Bond. Look out, Bourne. Melissa McCarthy has found her franchise," writes Steven Rea at the Philadelphia Inquirer. "The unabashed comedienne with the plus-size figure—and plus-size attitude to go with it—gets the perfect fit of a starring role" opposite another Bridesmaids alum, Rose Byrne, as "a hysterically snotty and sinister villain," and "a very funny Jason Statham—who knew?" Adding some interest to the flick, "Spy is very much a tale of female empowerment," he adds.
  • McCarthy is helped along by an "across-the-board superb supporting cast," including Byrne who "is no less brilliant here" than in Bridesmaids, writes Justin Chang at Variety. But "it's hard to think of another performer, male or female," who could pull off what McCarthy does here. "There's a real core of emotion here," Chang writes, as McCarthy delivers "a never-ending succession of priceless moments" in "the funniest, most versatile, and sustained comic showcase of her movie career."
(More Melissa McCarthy stories.)

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