Spy (2015 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Paul Feig|
|Written by||Paul Feig|
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$235.7 million|
Spy is a 2015 American action comedy spy film written and directed by Paul Feig. Starring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, and Jude Law, the film follows the transformation of desk-bound CIA analyst Susan Cooper (McCarthy) into a field agent who attempts to foil the black market sale of a suitcase nuke.
Produced by Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Feig and Jessie Henderson, the film was theatrically released on June 5, 2015. It received praise from critics and was a box office success. It was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for McCarthy.
Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is a 40-year-old, single, desk-bound CIA employee who remotely assists her partner, field agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law), on a mission. Fine accidentally kills arms dealer Tihomir Boyanov as he sneezes during a confrontation before extracting the location of a suitcase nuke from him. Susan uncovers evidence that Rayna (Rose Byrne), Boyanov's daughter, has contacted Sergio De Luca (Bobby Cannavale), a suspected broker with ties to various terrorist groups, so Fine infiltrates her home. However, Rayna shoots Fine dead, while Susan watches helplessly online, then reveals that she knows the identities of the agency's top agents, including Rick Ford (Jason Statham) and Karen Walker (Morena Baccarin). Susan, who is almost certainly unknown to Rayna, volunteers to track her (she was a top trainee agent, albeit over ten years ago). When her boss, Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney), reluctantly agrees, the ultra macho Ford quits in disgust.
With her best friend Nancy (Miranda Hart) providing intelligence, Susan goes to Paris undercover. That night, Ford shows up and tells Susan she will fail because of her inexperience. The next morning, Susan discovers that De Luca's office has burned down. She finds a photo of a man standing next to the fire. Ford appears, argues with Susan again and leaves. Susan sees the man in the photo follow him and switch his backpack with another one containing a bomb while Ford is distracted. Susan warns Ford in time during a Verka Serduchka concert and then pursues the man into an abandoned building. During the ensuing fight, he falls to his death. When she checks the man's video camera, Susan learns that De Luca is going to Rome.
In Rome, Susan meets her contact Aldo (Peter Serafinowicz). She follows Sergio into a casino, where she saves Rayna's life. Rayna brings Susan into her inner circle and takes Susan on her private plane to Budapest. In mid-flight, the steward kills Rayna's bodyguard and pilots, but Susan subdues him. Rayna believes Susan to be a CIA agent, but Susan convinces her that she was hired by Boyanov to protect his daughter.
In Budapest, Susan meets Nancy, who was sent by Crocker. After being shot at, Susan pursues and catches up with the would-be assassin: Karen, who sold Rayna the names of the other agents. She tries to shoot Susan, but an unknown sniper kills her. Susan, Nancy and Aldo accompany Rayna to a party to meet Rayna's contact. That turns out to be Lia (Nargis Fakhri), the woman who distracted Ford in Paris. Nancy creates a diversion (by pretending to be a crazed fan of guest performer 50 Cent) so that Susan can try to apprehend Lia unnoticed. Because of Ford's inopportune intervention, however, Lia runs off. Susan chases after her. After a brutal fight, as Susan is about to kill Lia, she is instead killed by Fine, who earlier faked his death and is now Rayna's lover and associate.
Rayna imprisons Susan and Aldo in a bunker. Later, Fine reveals to Susan that he is trying to gain Rayna's trust to locate the nuke, and he was the one who killed Karen. Susan and Aldo escape. At De Luca's mansion, Fine, Rayna and Sergio wait for Solsa Dudaev (Richard Brake), head of an al-Qaeda-funded terrorist group. Susan convinces Rayna and De Luca that, even though she works for the CIA, she will do anything to protect Fine, admitting that she loves him. Dudaev gives De Luca a suitcase full of diamonds, and Rayna produces the device. De Luca has Dudaev and his men killed, then reveals his plan to sell the device to another buyer (though they also intend to bomb New York City), before pointing his gun at Rayna. Ford distracts him, allowing Susan to kill his men. Sergio escapes to his helicopter with the device and the diamonds, but Susan grabs onto the landing gear. In the ensuing struggle, Susan throws the diamonds and the device into a lake below. De Luca attempts to shoot Susan, but Nancy, following in another helicopter, shoots him in the back before he can. He grabs on to Susan's necklace (a gift from Fine), but she releases the catch and De Luca falls out of the helicopter to his death.
The nuke is retrieved by the CIA, and Rayna is arrested. Ford, to Susan's surprise, compliments her on her job. Crocker tells Susan that she will remain a field agent, and that her next assignment will take her to Prague to infiltrate a drug smuggling ring. Fine invites Susan to dinner, but she instead opts for a night out with Nancy.
The next morning, Susan wakes up in bed next to Ford and screams. It is implied that they slept together, and Ford says that she loved it.
- Melissa McCarthy as Susan Cooper
- Jason Statham as Rick Ford
- Rose Byrne as Rayna Boyanov
- Jude Law as Bradley Fine
- Miranda Hart as Nancy B. Artingstall
- Bobby Cannavale as Sergio De Luca
- Allison Janney as Elaine Crocker
- Peter Serafinowicz as Aldo
- Morena Baccarin as Karen Walker
- Richard Brake as Solsa Dudaev
- Nargis Fakhri as Lia
- Björn Gustafsson as Anton
- 50 Cent as Himself
- Verka Serduchka as Herself
- Will Yun Lee as Timothy Cress
- Carlos Ponce as Matthew Wright
- Michael McDonald as Patrick
- Mitch Silpa as Fredrick
- Steve Bannos as Alan, the bartender
- Jessica Chaffin as Sharon
- Katie Dippold as Katherine
- Sam Richardson as John
- Zach Woods as Man in purple tie
- Ben Falcone as American tourist
- Jamie Denbo as Casino hostess
- Paul Feig as Drunken guest at Paris hotel (uncredited)
On June 18, 2013, it was announced that Paul Feig was developing Susan Cooper, a female spy comedy, for 20th Century Fox. Feig wrote and directed the film. Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping produced the film under the Chernin Entertainment banner, with Feig and Jessie Henderson for Feigco Entertainment. On November 12, 2013, Fox announced a release date of May 22, 2015. On March 28, 2014, the film's title was changed to Spy.
On July 25, 2013, it was confirmed that Melissa McCarthy was in negotiations to play the title role of Susan Cooper, a female comic version of James Bond. Zooey Deschanel was originally slated to play the role of Elaine Crocker but left the project. On October 17, Rose Byrne joined the cast of the film. On October 21, it was reported that Jason Statham met with Feig to begin talks about joining the cast; he later joined on February 26, 2014. On March 6, 2014, it was reported that actor Jude Law was in final talks to join the cast of the film. On March 12, it was revealed that internationally known actress Nargis Fakhri would make her Hollywood debut with the film, playing the role of a secret agent. On March 28, Miranda Hart also signed on to star in the film, while Bobby Cannavale and Nia Long were in final talks to join (Long did not appear in the finished film). McCarthy played Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst who goes into the field following the disappearance of a suave super-spy portrayed by Law. Statham played an overconfident yet clumsy spy, Hart played as Nancy Artingstall, and Cannavale played a villain, an Italian playboy. On April 1, 50 Cent joined the cast and played himself. On April 24, Feig confirmed the role of Fakhri and added two more comic actors: Peter Serafinowicz and Björn Gustafsson. On April 30, both Morena Baccarin and Allison Janney joined the cast. Baccarin played one of the agency’s top spies, while Janney played top CIA agent Elaine Crocker. On May 2, Zach Woods joined the cast. On May 29, Jessica Chaffin was added to the cast.
Principal photography and production began on March 31, 2014, in Budapest, Hungary. On May 27, filming was under way in Budapest and was about to wrap up. Apart from tax breaks, shooting was primarily done in Budapest because its architecture and location could allow it to appear as other places where the story took place, including Paris.
The film was originally scheduled to be released on May 22, 2015, by 20th Century Fox. In March 2015, the date was pushed back to June 5, 2015, which was first assigned to B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations and Paper Towns, the former of which being taken off the schedule and the latter moved to July. Prior to its official release, Paul Feig stated that Spy went through about 10 test screenings, a process - which includes recording the audience laughter for each version - he does "religiously", with Judd Apatow (who produced the Feig-directed Bridesmaids) commenting on its usefulness for a comedy film: "It doesn’t work very well if a movie is supposed to make you feel difficult emotions. If you’re making a David Lynch movie, it doesn’t work at all. But for comedy it’s often the best way to refine jokes."
The first official full-length trailer of the film was released on January 13, 2015.
Spy grossed $110.8 million in North America and $124.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $235.6 million, against a budget of $65 million.
In North America, the film made $1.5 million from its early Thursday night showings and an estimated $10.3 million on its opening day from 3,711 theaters, coming at second place at the box office behind Insidious: Chapter 3. It topped the box office in its opening weekend earning $29 million.
Outside North America, Spy opened in ten foreign markets on May 22, 2015, earning $12.7 million in its opening weekend from 1,810 screens, and coming in fourth place at the box office (behind Mad Max: Fury Road, Tomorrowland, and Pitch Perfect 2). In the UK, Ireland and Malta, it opened with $3.9 million. The film had successful openings in South Korea ($4.8 million), Russia and the CIS ($3.1 million), Australia ($2.9 million), Mexico ($1.6 million) and Taiwan ($1.3 million).
Spy received critical acclaim, with critics praising McCarthy and Byrne's performances, as well as Statham's surprise comedic role. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes lists a 94% approval rating, based on 228 reviews, with a rating average of 7.2/10. The site's consensus reads, "Simultaneously broad and progressive, Spy offers further proof that Melissa McCarthy and writer-director Paul Feig bring out the best in one another — and delivers scores of belly laughs along the way." On Metacritic the film has a score of 75 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". In CinemaScore polls, cinema audiences gave the film an average score of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
McCarthy's performance was praised by critics. Richard Roeper of The Chicago Sun Times called her "as funny and as winning as anyone in the movies these days". Tom Russo of The Boston Globe credited the film's success to McCarthy, writing, "part of what makes the action comedy such a loopy blast is the identity shifts she pulls on the audience." Bill Goodykoontz of Arizona Republic called the film McCarthy's return to form, writing "Finally, after the promise shown in Bridesmaids, but sold short since by weak scripts in films like Tammy and Identity Thief, Melissa McCarthy gets a movie vehicle worthy of her talents."
In addition to McCarthy's, many of the supporting cast members' performances were praised, particularly Byrne's and Statham's. John Boone of Entertainment Tonight said Statham "twists his action hero persona into a delightfully delusional version of the same thing", and praised Byrne's performance, writing "For every joke that McCarthy’s Susan Cooper ends up as the butt of, Byrne is the one teeing it up with perfectly understated wickedness. She can so easily spit out lines as offensive as, after Cooper delivers a punny cheers, "What a stupid, f**king toast,” but make it...charming?" Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called Byrne's comedic timing "bitchy perfection".
|Award||Category||Recipient(s) and Nominee(s)||Result|
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||Best Comedy||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Comedy||Melissa McCarthy||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Comedy||Jason Statham||Nominated|
|Evening Standard British Film Awards||Award for Comedy||Nominated|
|Empire Awards||Best Comedy||Won|
|Georgia Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Rose Byrne||Nominated|
|Glamour Awards||Comedy Actress||Melissa McCarthy||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Melissa McCarthy||Nominated|
|Golden Trailer Awards||Best Comedy||"Secret Agent"||Nominated|
|Las Vegas Film Critics Society||Best Comedy Film||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Comedic Performance||Melissa McCarthy||Nominated|
|Best Fight||Melissa McCarthy vs. Nargis Fakhri||Nominated|
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Comedic Movie||Nominated|
|Favorite Comedic Movie Actress||Melissa McCarthy||Won|
|Phoenix Critics Circle||Best Comedy Film||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Action or Adventure Film||Nominated|
|St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association||Best Film – Comedy||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Summer Movie||Nominated|
|Choice Summer Movie Star: Female||Melissa McCarthy||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Hissy Fit||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Villain||Rose Byrne||Nominated|
|Utah Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actor - Female||Won|
|Village Voice Film Poll||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Women Film Critics Circle||Best Comedic Actress||Melissa McCarthy||Nominated|
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