Spy is not a movie about a dopey, stuck, hated fat person. It's about an agile, clever, lightning-fast fat person who gets all the best jokes and outsmarts everyone in scene after scene after scene. As a former very fat person, I felt breathless watching it—because it's a perfect pop confection, but also because it's so character-driven and convincing you don't even realize it's inverting over and over again all the presumptions you didn't even realize were built into every other physical depiction of action heroes. Contrary to what the promotional photo of Melissa McCarthy stuck in concrete with a grin on her face suggests, her character in Spy is an incredibly skilled motorcyclist. She's a national security secret weapon. She whips homicidally through a crowd of bad guys more effectively than Bond or Batman. At one point, she's dangling from a helicopter by her hand. You don't realize how starved for images like these you are until some brilliant director like Paul Feig comes along and gives them to you like it's no big thing, like these have always existed in the mainstream, like it's easy to convince big studios to do this. Feig also gave us Bridesmaids, brilliant Bridesmaids, which capitalism filed away as Movie with All Women in It That Was Unexpectedly a Big Hit, which has enabled Feig to keep making smart, hilarious films starring Melissa McCarthy. It seemed like a mark of civilization's progress that Bridesmaids was such a hit, and Spy deserves to be just as big. (There's more of it to love. It's big-boned. Now in wide release.) Bridesmaids was hilarious, but the edge of its social critique was blunt, its world more naturalistic. Spy's commentary is razor-sharp, its parody laser-focused on the intrinsically exclusionary nature of movie iconography, and I think that makes it the better movie. It's certainly every bit as funny. I wasn't taking good notes because I was too busy losing my mind with laughter and identification. I went with one of the most critical people I know, a person I enjoy hating things with, and I kept saying to her, "This is so good," and she kept saying, "So good." by Christopher Frizzelle
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Paul Feig
Jason Statham, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne