STARRING: Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Miranda Hart

Agents of chaos: McCarthy (left) and Hart

Susan Cooper (McCarthy) aced CIA Academy classes but at age 40 she’s a desk-bound spinster and the headpiece eyes and ears of hotshot agent Bradley Fine (Law). When Fine meets a sticky fate, a revenge-bent Susan is sent undercover to Paris, then to Rome and Budapest, as an even frumpier version of herself. Her track-and-report mission will ideally avert the sale of a nuke by a hoity-toity Bulgarian dealer (Byrne) to a slimy terrorist (Bobby Cannavale).


Hmm. Naturellement, with Bridesmaids writer-director Paul Feig on hooting duty, all bets are way off. There’s a rogue agent out there (a dead-straight Statham, in an hysterical riff on his usual he-man façade), for one thing. Then, too, the course of covert action is a zero-fun zone when it runs smooth. Which the high-shine Spy loopily never does, opting instead for whip-crack one-liners and smashing, nutso support from Byrne, Statham, Law, Cannavale, Hart as Susan’s daffy sidekick and Peter Serafinowicz as an oversexed Italian operative. But the spotlight, as it should be, is on crown jewel McCarthy. From her first, klutzy fumblings to the weapon of destruction she finally gets to be, the unsinkable Susan is one badass dame.