What do you do if your top agents’ identities are revealed on YouTube and they can no longer be employed by the secret service? Exactly: you use a face that the criminals don’t know. And that is how inconspicuous CIA analyst Susan Cooper becomes an undercover spy. Because of her inexperience, the missions don’t go quite as smoothly as usual. The film is a refreshing parody of the spy genre.
Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) has a desk job at the CIA. As an analyst, she supports the secret agents during their spectacular missions. In typical James Bond style, these agents are of course young, good-looking and successful. Such as Bradley Fine (Jude Law), who Susan watches over. One day, she witnesses him being murdered on her screen. When, shortly afterwards, the top agents’ identities are revealed by the baddies on YouTube, the head of the CIA decides to send out an unknown spy on a secret mission in this case. The discussion about potential candidates has barely begun when Susan volunteers her services, although she has no experience whatsoever as an agent. But she is determined to get revenge for the death of her partner. She also wants to experience some of the glamour of being a spy instead of just watching the action unfold on her screen.
Top agent – thanks to her quick wit
The reality is somewhat different, however. Her disguises are anything but spectacular. One time she is a single mother of five children, another time an inconspicuous cat lover. And instead of luxurious penthouses or hotel suites, she is put up in shabby lodgings. The missions also take place in regular cities instead of exotic locations such as the Caribbean. Things unfold as one might expect: due to her inexperience, she is unmasked already during her first undercover mission. Susan learns quickly, however. She steps outside her comfort zone, overcomes tricky situations with her quick wit and shakes off her insecurities. This change also marks the start of her glamorous life as a spy: casinos, private jets and exotic locations.
One of Susan Cooper’s (Melissa McCarthy) undercover identities: a non-glamorous cat lover.
A spy film with charm
The film is a parody of the well-known spy films, in particular the James Bond series. It pokes fun at all of the clichés, but without falling flat. Jason Statham, who plays boastful top agent Rick Ford, stands out for his role. With a broad British accent and unbelievable stories akin to MacGyver (such as how he sewed his own arm back on after an accident) he frays Susan Cooper’s nerves and makes viewers laugh.
All in all, an entertaining spy comedy with witty punchlines. The jokes and action scenes are spot on. Not too much, not too little. Not too silly, not too over the top. Just one slight note of caution to finish with: there is quite a lot of swearing and crude talk. If that doesn’t bother you, you will enjoy this comedy.