Spy review

Comedy duo unite for a boundary-pushing espionage comedy starring an HCC fave

Writer/director Paul Feig teams up for a third time with Melissa McCarthy to deliver another superb rib-tickling comedy. Spy aims higher than either Bridesmaids or The Heat before it though: this is an action comedy that parodies the globe-trotting adventures of the James Bond franchise.

McCarthy leads as Susan Cooper, a CIA support worker who spends her time behind a desk transmitting vital info to super-agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law). When Fine is taken out of action by nuclear terrorist Rayna (Rose Byrne), Cooper volunteers herself for fieldwork, on the basis that Rayna wouldn't recognise her. And before you can say 'action comedy,' she's charging around Europe trying to stop the sale of a nuclear bomb and save the CIA's blushes. Feig fans will know what to expect from Spy.

This is full-throttle fun that certainly pushes the boundaries of its 15 rating, courtesy of some unexpected gore/nudity and expected foul-mouthed dialogue. At two hours long (or longer if you opt for the extended version on Fox's Blu-ray) it does drag on occasion, but for much of the time you'll be too busy laughing to care – often when action-oriented thesp turned comedy hero Jason Statham is onscreen in his role as dimwitted agent Rick Ford.
Movie rating: 4/5

Picture: The Blu-ray's Full HD 2.40:1 encode is bright and colourful – some of Cooper's hideous costumes practically ping off the screen – and impressively detailed. That said, it does on occasion feel a little flat, with some low-light interior sequences lacking pop compared to the sunny locations.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: The DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix is a thoroughbred affair and perhaps better than expected. It's not particularly inventive, but enveloping, clean and loud and brash when it needs to be.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: There are more extra features here than can be written on the back of the BD sleeve – although once you start digging into them many prove to be throwaway fluff, such as The Many Deaths of Anton, which turns out to be less than a minute of alternate takes. However, there are plenty of laughs to be found amongst the disc's copious gag-reels, line goofs, extended scenes and dialogue improvs.

How Spy Was Made is a (slightly) more serious multipart Making of... feature that looks into stuntwork and casting and McCarthy and Feig's collaboration. Best of all, though, is the commentary track, where the director is joined by his producer and director of photography. This a dead-air free zone packed with info.
Extras rating: 4/5

We say: A cracking action-comedy treated with respect on this extras-packed Blu-ray

Spy, 20th Century Fox, Region A/B BD, £25 approx