My Rating: 3 stars
Well, I had a fun time watching this movie. I know that Melissa McCarthy’s antics aren’t for everyone. Not everyone enjoys watching a buffoon bumbling through a story, whether it’s male or female. And, that pretty much sums up McCarthy’s brand of humor. She always seems to find herself in a sticky situation. She then manages to unwittingly extricate herself in the most humiliating, yet strangely skillful way possible. It’s a well-worn formula by this point. But, that kind of thing can be funny sometimes. And, I think I was in just the right mood for it when I sat down to watch this one.
In this movie Melissa McCarthy is a spy. Well, actually she’s the “in-the-ear” helper to a spy. Jude Law—the suave and stylish, James Bond type. McCarthy is the one providing remote tactical support so that Law can waltz through fancy parties, seduce elegant ladies, and charm the locals without having to worry himself with pesky details. But, when Jude Law goes missing in the field, McCarthy is the only one with the knowledge and skills to go save him . . . or at least to finish his mission. Of course, it also helps that she doesn’t look anything like a rakish, gentleman spy. It’s the perfect cover . . . if only Jason Statham, another spy for the agency, weren’t trying to constantly blow her cover in an attempt to take over the mission himself.
The whole movie is as ridiculous and overblown as it sounds. Tuxedos are sharp, jewels are extravagant, hairstyles are piled grotesquely high. (Rose Byrne’s outfits and hair just get sillier and sillier as the movie goes on). State secrets are traded in locked metal briefcases, and somehow the intelligence agencies have instant, remote access to any computer or technological system in the world. It’s pretty comical. But, it’s just a funny nod to all the silly spy movies we’ve grown up on. Real life is never as fun as the movies. So, while you’re making a movie, you’d might as well go whole hog with the spy tropes. It’s fun and light and as mindless as you want it to be.
I liked this movie and I think you will too as long as you don’t take your spy films too seriously. There’s nothing worse a pedantic superfan. So, make sure you’re not sitting down to watch this movie with one of those people who has the whole James Bond canon memorized and flings around trivia whenever they need to feel better about themselves. Sometimes it’s ok to just sit down and enjoy a little light fare.