SPY

You’ve gotta me kidding me. This is the “laugh riot” everyone is raving about? The jokes are as bland and generic as the title in this middling Melissa McCarthy vehicle. A few hours after seeing it I can remember only one witty line (at the very end, referencing Phantom of the Opera), one action sequence (girl fight in a kitchen), and one, maybe two performances: Peter Serafinowicz (who should do a father-son movie with Armand Assante) as the woman-crazed Italian (?) driver, and Björn Gustafsson, a bit part really, driven to tears by McCarthy. The plot is complicated but sure, who cares; it’s there to serve the comedy. If only there were more comedy! Too many car chases, too many stale Bondian takeoffs (Michael McDonald as a Q-like high-tech spy gadget creator), plus dick shots and a grisly death that are puzzling additions because the rest of the movie is tame enough for kids. I like Melissa McCarthy when she has balls, but here, she’s lost shuttling between ballsy and vulnerable-pathetic, even somewhat at the end. — Jeff Schultz

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