‘Spy’ Trailer: Melissa McCarthy Has a License to Kill (And Tell Dirty Jokes)
The spy comedy is a genre almost as venerated and beloved as the spy genre it mocks. There’s Our Man Flint, Casino Royale (the original Woody Allen one), Austin Powers, MacGruber, and now the simply titled Spy. It stars Melissa McCarthy as Susan Cooper, a desk-bound CIA officer who is sent out into the field for her first time after a fabulously well-dressed super-villain (Rose Byrne) learns the true identities of every working CIA agent. Now the woman who’s always taken a backseat to her boss (Jude Law, the Bond to her Moneypenny) gets to step into the spotlight.
That’s the best part of Spy, which reunites McCarthy with her Bridesmaids and The Heat director, Paul Feig. Its empowering message is fantastic; this tough, resourceful gal who’s spent a lifetime getting stepped on finally takes charge and saves the day on behalf of all women who’ve been neglected and trivialized by Hollywood in general and by the action genre specifically. McCarthy is hilarious and very game to poke as much fun at herself as the old Bond tropes, and she gets wonderful supporting performances from Byrne and Jason Statham, as a chauvinistic CIA agent who remains unconvinced Susan Cooper has what it takes to work in the field. The trailer shows a little glimpse of his best scene in the film, when he tries to intimidate Susan by listing all of his most outrageous accomplishments (and trust me; what he says in this spot is just a drop in the bucket of crazy).
I saw Spy a few weeks ago at SXSW and for my further thoughts on the film, you can read my full review. I’d say this trailer does a good job of selling the movie I saw, which has some really funny highlights, an awesome lead performance, and some long-awaited ideas about letting woman take charge in big-budget blockbusters. It’s also kind of uneven, with too much filler and a borderline incomprehensible plot (which might be a nod to the borderline incomprehensible plots in some of the lesser Bond movies, but I doubt it). The one thing this trailer doesn’t really convey: There’s plenty of R-rated jokes. Do not let the moment in the ad when McCarthy exclaims “Mother butler!” instead of an F-bomb fool you. Parts of this movie are downright filthy.