In general, I didn’t find the film Spy laugh out loud funny.

spy-posterThis, I suppose, is an embarrassing admission for someone who purports to care about movies: I have not seen, all the way through, any James Bond movie. I’ve seen bits and pieces on TV occasionally, mostly from the Sean Connery era, but never from beginning to end.

There, I said it.

Yet I recognized the spy movie tropes that ran through the movie comedy Spy, which I saw with my friend Mary at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany a few weeks ago.

Not familiar with the level of violence in an R-rated comedy, I was briefly taken aback by the first good joke, which involved the failure to take one’s allergy medication. Once that happened, I said, “OK, so it’ll be THAT kind of movie,” and I went with it.

This is the story of behind-the-scenes CIA analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCartney), who fed information through the earbud of super slick spy Bradley Long (Jude Law). But when Bradley is feared dead, and another top field spy, Rick Ford (Jason Strathan), goes rogue, Susan convinces her boss Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney) to allow her to go undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne).

I didn’t find the frumpy aliases and clothing the agency gave to Susan, on assignment in various cities, all that hilarious. More humorous was when Susan bought her own clothes and Rayna found them inadequate.

In general, I didn’t find the film laugh-out-loud funny. I’m told that Strathan, e.g., is playing on the roles in series for which he’s best known – Transformers, Fast & Furious, The Expendables, etc, – except that I’d NEVER seen him in ANY movie. And with all the double-crossing and triple crossing, I was a tad muddled in the middle about who was on whose side. I confused one dark-haired woman with another for a time.

Yet I enjoyed the movie as a whole, as an empowerment treatise, that the “behind the curtains” spy got to ultimately shine. The character of Nancy (Miranda Hart), who was Susan’s backup person, was appropriately awkward. Rose Byrne, who played the Bridezilla in Bridesmaids, also produced and directed by Paul Feig, was even more over the top here. Actually, the best comedy may have been in the end credits, which much of the audience missed, naturally, detailing Susan’s future spy exploits.

I’m glad I went, and I understand why the critics liked Spy, but I doubt The Wife would have enjoyed the language and violence.

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