Melissa McCarthy is one of the biggest names in comedy today, but her post-Bridesmaids career hasn’t been particularly fruitful. Sure, most of her films have made quite a bit of money and they’ve been a hit with audiences, but I don’t think that she’s had a truly funny film in years. Spy reteams her with Paul Feig (director of Bridesmaids and The Heat) and their third collaboration together is modestly successful. It’s only sporadically funny thanks to a mediocre script, but the film is actually pretty well directed and some fantastic comedic performances are able to elevate any of the subpar humor. Nothing about it is particularly memorable, but it moves at a quick enough pace to make this a decently entertaining summer comedy.

CIA analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) operates behind a desk, feeding intel into the ears of agents in the field. Her partner is Bradley Fine (Jude Law) a suave agent who relies on Cooper to keep him alive. While trying to discover the location of a missing nuclear weapon, Fine is killed by Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne). Boyanov informs the CIA that she knows every one of their active agents and she will kill any of them that try to stop her. But she has no idea who Susan Cooper is, so this gives Cooper the opportunity to leave her desk behind and embark on an actual mission.

McCarthy has gotten a lot of flak from people lately, with a lot of her naysayers claiming that she plays the same character over and over again. I genuinely think that she’s pretty funny in this film, portraying an everyday woman who gets wrapped up in a larger than life adventure quite well. Her delivery and occasionally over the top comedic performance carries the film and makes it an easy watch. But the standouts of the film for me are two members of the supporting cast: Rose Byrne and Jason Statham. Neither of them are known first and foremost for their comedy, but they’re both hysterically funny in this film. Byrne makes a great villain and her part probably wouldn’t have provided any laughs with a lesser performer in the role. Statham has a lot of great opportunities for humor and he nails every single one of them. One of the funniest moments in the film features Statham giving an extended explanation of all the impossible things that he has done as a secret agent. Jude Law’s character doesn’t provide many laughs, but he’s perfect for the role and does a great job with what he’s given.

I wish that I could write more about Spy, but a lot of the film is actually pretty forgettable. I had some solid belly laughs, but looking back on the film I can hardly remember what jokes were worth talking about. The script by Feig doesn’t offer a lot of surprises in the humor department, with a lot of jokes feeling either mediocre or done before. The script also forces way too much plot into the end of the film that gets in the way of any remaining jokes. But there are actually some well-directed action scenes here, particularly a fight involving McCarthy that takes place in a kitchen. So even though the humor isn’t particularly memorable, there’s just enough talent on display in front of and behind the camera to warrant a recommendation.

Spy receives 2.5/4

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