In my humble opinion Melissa McCarthy is one of the more talented actors of our time. She uses her size to her advantage when plays any roll with physical humor. Her quick smile, sometimes vulnerable demeanor, and pretty face allow her to take rolls and make the character her own. The parts seem to be written for her - and some were. But I digress.
In Spy, this summer's James Bond take-off, McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, a CIA agent assigned to the basement as the virtual eyes and ears of a very vain agent in the field - Bradley Fine played by Jude Law. She is very good at what she does and devoted to Fine. Actually she is infatuated with him.
When things go askew abroad and all the field agents' covers are blown, Allison Janney (who plays Elaine Crocker, the Deputy Director) reluctantly sends Susan into the field only to keep "eyes" on the subject. Susan's cover as frumpy housewife Penny Morgan from Iowa complete with one of the many dowdy wigs she wears in the film, is not exactly the glamorous ID she had hoped for. As you can assume it doesn't take long before "Penny", God awful wig and all, is in full action, has taken the situation into her own hands, and is putting all her training to work.
Her character develops from an unconfident ugly ducking who's ability is constantly overlooked to a very effective agent who is resourceful and fearless. Miranda Hart (seen in PBS's Here Come the Midwives) plays Nancy, Susan's CIA tall and gawky fellow agent and sidekick. Together they are the funniest female duo I have seen in a while.
As the story develops there are many twists and turns to keep you guessing. There are chase scenes through Rome and Budapest, neat secret weapons, good looking men in tuxedos, women in couture dresses, glasses of champagne, and yes, the required casino - everything one needs for a Bond genre movie. Even the opening credits are a copy of the opening for a Bond movie.
The film is well made, the cast is well played, the story is interesting although the characters take on their own story and the plot seems to be in the background. Oh and did I mention Rose Byrne, (previously seen in This is Where I Leave You and The Neighbors) who plays Rayna Boyanov, the spoiled daughter of a mob boss? In truth it is her hair that should have its own credit.
It is 120 minutes of action, comedy, and crime, but more than that, it is 2 hours of fun and enjoyment.