SXSW 2015: “Spy” – Review by MovieManMenzel

spy movie sxsw

McCarthy & Byrne are the comedic duo of the year.

Anyone who knows me knows that I hated Bridesmaids. I remember attending its premiere at SXSW 2011 and sitting in the the theater rolling my eyes throughout. I just didn’t understand why women shitting in sinks and acting like spoiled little kids was funny. After Bridesmaids, I continued to watch McCarthy’s career over the past 4 years. It is pretty safe to say that McCarthy has had a fair share of ups and down. Unlike most, I was one of the few people who enjoyed Tammy and like most I really loved The Heat as well as her dramatic turn in 2014’s St. Vincent. I did, however, hate This Is 40Identity Thief, and The Hangover Part III

In Spy Melissa McCarthy stars as Susan Conroy, a CIA analyst that saves the day by working behind the scenes with her 007 counterpart played by Jude Law. One day, the CIA learns that Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), a deadly weapons dealer, is aware that they are following her and will stop at nothing to take down all their agents. Determined to stop Boyanov’s devious plan, Susan Conroy volunteers to go undercover and stop Boyanov from selling a nuclear weapon to terrorists.

I have to admit that I was a bit leery about seeing Spy because it didn’t seem like something McCarthy could pull off but truth be told, Spy is one funny fucking film. The plot is similar to your typical spy film (think James Bond) but the cast is what really brings the film to a whole ‘nother level. The pairing of McCarthy and Byrne is comedic gold. The two bounce off one another so well and the majority of the jokes really hit. The big laughs come from their interactions with one another and the steady flow of consistent one liners their characters say throughout.

Spy Movie SXSW 2015


I love Rose Byrne and its nice seeing her branch out a bit and play a role that requires her to switch up her comedic routine from that sweet and lovable girl that we seen her play in so many films before to a devious evil bitch. I loved the look of her character as well as the silly outfits that she wore. It seemed as if Byrne was really just having a blast and enjoyed working on this film and everyone involved.

McCarthy, just like Byrne, seemed like she was having a blast while filming.  Her character has many layers and goes from being this sweet and innocent woman to a foul mouthed bad ass. McCarthy has such a dynamic personality and loved that Feig allowed her to really shine in this film. As McCarthy transforms from Susan Conroy to Carol Jenkins to Penny Morgan, they all bring laughter along with ridiculous wigs and wardrobe. McCarthy really made this character work and loved how much the character changed as the film progressed.

As for the supporting cast, they all worked well together even though on paper the casting seems a bit strange. Jason StathamJude Law, and Allison Janney play some of the more memorable supporting characters . Jason Statham is an absolute riot as Rick Ford. Statham brings a lot of laughs by simply being the tough guy that he is known to play. He is constantly cursing and telling stories such as the time he once went undercover as Barack Obama. Jude Law looks and fits the part and while I liked him in this role, I don’t think he brought a lot to the film other than the fact that he was a good fit. Allison Janney is always wonderful and definitely great as the Deputy Chief of the CIA.

While I did enjoy the vast majority of Spy there are two things about it that bugged me a bit. The first is the runtime, which feels a bit bloated at just about 2 hours long. There are a few slow parts throughout that could have easily been edited down but for some reason went on a bit too long. The other issue is that some of the run-on-gags occur such as all the scenes involving the character Aldo happen too much while other jokes like the bats and rats in the CIA office are completely unnecessary and fall flat.

All in all, Spy is a fun film that pokes fun at the spy genre while providing a lot of laughs and action. The cast is wonderful and the clever and witty one-liners are pretty consistent throughout. Even though not everything about Spy is a home run, it is always a lot of fun to watch. If you are a fan of McCarthy, Byrne, or Statham, Spy is without a doubt a must-see. I think this will make a great pre-summer comedy and I can safely say that I am pretty sure a sequel will be happening after opening weekend. I just hope that McCarthy continues doing more films like this rather than ones that rely on her falling down or shitting in sinks.

MovieManMenzel’s final rating for Spy is a 7.5 out of 10.

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