She's no Mata Hari, and she may not get the guy (though she does get some) - but that doesn't mean she can't be a different sort of badass, the kind that's a reminder of McCarthy's range beyond just physical comedy.
Melissa McCarthy keeping pace in foot chases with actors who spend the better portion of their lives in a gym is about as funny as it gets, unless you count the antonymous editing of the action sequences.
Feig keeps his Spy machinery cranking so smoothly that nothing said or done feels as outrageous as, in fact, it is. The truth serum Spy drops into our fizzy drinks makes us feel so good that we don't even realize we've been schooled.
Melissa McCarthy shines in this clever action-comedy showcase provided by the writer and director Paul Feig, but the movie's tightly contrived plot and uniformly positive emotions constrain her comic genius.
J. R. Jones
Hollywood is gradually figuring out what to do with Melissa McCarthy.
McCarthy has much more to discover about herself as an actor and an avatar and a cultural signifier, and I hope she doesn't get trapped by one role, one genre or one franchise. But her campaign of conquest is going well.
What does work, in every scene, is Melissa McCarthy's performance. She's as funny and as winning as anyone in the movies these days.
Feig's cheerfully feminist script makes only as much sense as it absolutely must, while providing McCarthy with chances to crack wise, show vulnerability and class, and do some of the more elegant pratfalls you'll have seen in a while.
In Spy, she's playing a caricature that is almost a complete character. The movie isn't out to humiliate her. It wants to prop up a version of heroism that makes sense for McCarthy.