20th Century Fox

Reviewed by: Tami Smith, Guest Reviewer for Shockya.

Grade: B

Director: Paul Feig

Screenwriter: Paul Feig

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Allison Janney, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale

Opens: June 5, 2015

Odds are you never visualized comedian Melissa McCarthy as a C.I.A operative or James Bond’s associate. Well, me neither. So it was with great surprise that I went to view Spy and had an “aha” moment. Big Melissa pulled it off!

Spy tells the story of Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy), a CIA analyst doing a desk job, helping on-the-filed operators. One of these is Bradley Fine (Jude Law) who got exposed, shot and killed. Another one is Rick Ford (Jason Statham) who is acting strangely against C.I.A. rules of conduct, provided by director Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney). The major villains here are: Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) and De Luca (Bobby Cannavale). Their purpose is to smuggle a radioactive bomb into the U.S.

Since Susan is an unknown entity in the spy business she is issued a new identity and off she goes to save the world from a nuclear disaster. During the next 118 minutes she will be running, climbing, falling, fighting, dangling from small airplanes, doing the obligatory car chases and kitchen knives fights, changing her appearance with different wigs and silly garments, and using four-letter-words during long scenes.

Jude Law tries to pull a funny James Bond with moderate success, drinking a glass of bubbly and throwing it on a reception room’s floor, while Rose Byrne and Allison Janney play their roles with straight faces.

Spy could not have been produced without some stunt work, done here by Stacey Howell-Brown and Luci Romberg for Melissa McCarthy, Jace Jeanes for Jason Statham, Balazs Lengvel for Jude Law, Gyula Toth for Bobby Cannavale and Alicia Vela-Bailey for Rose Byrne.

Photography was done superbly by Robert Yeoman, with filming locations in: Hungary (Budapest, Lake Balaton and Tihany); Italy (Rome) and France (Paris). Fluent editing was done by Dean and Don Zimmerman.

With a “moderate” budget of 65 million dollars, summer crowds itching to see Melissa McCarthy, and positive critical reception this Spy may prove profitable.

My best advice is: Do not think about the plot because it does not make sense. Just go and enjoy some fast moving, mindless summer entertainment, and do not forget to stay for the end-credits.

Rated R          118 minutes © Tami Smith, Guest Reviewer

Story: C

Acting: B

Technical: B+

Overall: B

By Harvey Karten

Harvey Karten is the founder of the The New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO) an organization composed of Internet film critics based in New York City. The group meets once a year, in December, for voting on its annual NYFCO Awards.

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