When it comes to TV wishes for 2016, if only some US cable network would pony up the huge bucks and sign up Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne and Spy writer-director Paul Feig for their own adult comedy series, because the small screen really is just too dull without the trio. Plenty more will feel the same way after watching Spy. At the very least, we deserve a sequel to this potty-mouthed send-up of Bond, Bourne and the boys.
McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, a desk-bound CIA agent who is finally called into action following the death of field operative Bradley Fine (Jude Law) while on the trail of a nuclear device. Issued with the least flattering but most convincing of false identities, Cooper travels to Paris, Rome and Budapest on the hunt for 'mastermind' Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne). Disaster lurks around every corner, as does braggart I-told-you-so spy Rick Ford (Jason Statham).
While some of the action scenes are a bit too close to the serious end of the espionage genre, Spy's wicked sense of humour, McCarthy's gung-ho attitude to making herself the butt of the jokes and the comic timing of all involved make it the most enjoyable comedy of the year to date. Following The Heat and Bridesmaids, this is the third film McCarthy has made with Feig, and what's onscreen here (a good gag is never too far away) bodes very well for their Ghostbusters reboot, and will give those who have derided the project the opportunity for a rethink. On slime alone, there could be gold.
If you're someone who likes your comedies snarky, you'll get your fill here with the barbs and one-liners absolutely delicious. Among the highlights - without the visuals you're only getting half the fun - are: "Did he also make you dress like a slutty dolphin trainer?"; "You look like a perverted bus driver"; "You look like some old toothless woman sucking the jelly out of a doughnut" and "I'm just missing a shirt that says 'I've never felt the touch of a man'". McCarthy and Byrne trade insults with gloves-off glee, making you wonder just how much tonnage there is of outtakes back in the edit suite. There are also some brilliant moments involving Statham - a delight spoofing his tough guy self - Miranda Hart as McCarthy's office buddy and Serafinowicz as an oily operative.
Definitely worth watching twice – with a Top Secret chaser afterwards.