For those of us who love a strong female lead, the summer of blockbusters can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster.
One week, you’re hopeful, the next week, you’re watching an otherwise capable woman become suddenly paralyzed by indecision because there’s a giant lizard on the loose and she doesn’t know where her man is (you know who you are). It’s trying at times, to say the least.
Melissa McCarthy in “Spy” makes all of that girl power whiplash worth it.
Don’t worry guys, this isn’t a female empowerment movie, it’s just a movie with a strong (hilarious) female lead, that’s not a chick flick. (pause for mind explosion.) If you’re still worried about being overcome by estrogen, I defer to Tom Hardy on the subject:
What’s most wonderful about the empowering message of this movie, is that it’s not treated as such. Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is not exceptional because she is a woman, she’s exceptional because she is a bad ass. In that spirit, I’ll now get off my soapbox, and tell you more about how wonderful this movie is.
The Central Intelligence Agency calls to mind images of James Bond-esque espionage, action sequences, elegant women and debonair men. Agent Susan Cooper works in a rodent-infested basement where most of her work falls on the clerical end of things. The closest she comes to the exciting life of a spy is providing intel to the dashing Agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law), while he’s in the field.
A series of circumstances (that would be major spoilers) give Susan the chance to become the spy she wanted to be when she joined the agency, by “observing and reporting” the activities of arms Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) and eluding the interference of Agent Ford, a disgruntled “former” agent (and general bad ass). This is all with the help of her office-mate and friend, Nancy (Miranda Hart), and the hesitant faith of her director (Allison Janney).
Like I said before, what makes this movie so amazing, is that it’s just a great movie. It’s not trying to make a point, it’s not trying to be groundbreaking (it is, but that’s really just commentary on the testosterone-soaked state of Hollywood). Much like its leading lady, “Spy” is smart, funny, fearless, and thumbs its nose at the line between “just enough” and “too much.” I could write books about how much I love Melissa McCarthy (she’ll always be Sookie St. James to me), and “Spy” made me love her even more. In fact all of the ladies in this movie are absolutely hilarious and hard as nails. The film does a great job of portraying the women as strong, but without turning it into a gag. It’s delightful and about time.
The thing I love most about this movie is that it doesn’t fill in all of the blanks for you, it allows you to notice things on your own, and that could make for a gap-filled plot, but it doesn’t. It makes for an educated and entertaining night at the movies, and if you don’t walk out of this movie smiling then you may want to have your head examined…after sitting through the credits…yes there’s a clip, and the credits are a treat themselves. Seriously, everything about this movie is wonderful.
“Spy” reunites filmmaker Paul Feig and actress Melissa McCarthy in the movie we’ve all been waiting for since the absolute hilarity that was “Bridesmaids.” The two will work together again in the upcoming “Ghostbusters” reboot, and I for one can’t wait…especially since the casting of the receptionist. If “Spy” is any indication of what’s to come, it’s going to be utterly spectacular.