'Spy' is far from a laugh riot

'Spy' stars Melissa McCarthy as a CIA office worker who becomes an agent. Writer-director Paul Feig piles on the clobber comedy and gross-outs.

Larry Horricks/20th Century Fox/AP
'Spy' stars Melissa McCarthy (r.) and Allison Janney (l.).

Melissa McCarthy’s combustible comedic chops self-implode in “Spy,” which its creators mean to be a laugh riot but falls far short of the mark. Actually, there is one good joke involving an James Bond-style CIA agent played by Jude Law. Unfortunately, it comes three minutes into the movie. It’s a long sit until the closing credits.

McCarthy plays the agent’s smitten keyboard jockey – the voice in his earpiece during dangerous missions – before she becomes an agent herself. Writer-director Paul Feig – he’s the anti-Ernst Lubitsch -- piles on the clobber comedy and fat jokes and gross-outs while McCarthy wears out her welcome in record time. I have a soft spot for dumb comedies, especially if they’re dumb-smart. This one’s just dumb-dumb. Grade: D+ (Rated R for language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity.)

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.