The intel is in: Melissa McCarthy can carry a comedy. Specifically, “Spy.”
That should be a balm to people who sat through last year’s bomb “Tammy.” She even helps “Spy” leap over many of the hurdles of a genre — the secret-agent spoof — that was tired more than 30 years ago.
Yet as long as there are adventure thrillers, there will be adventure-thriller parodies. The moments when “Spy” falls apart are when the film fancies itself the real thing. The times when it works are due to its leading lady.
McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, a CIA desk jockey working with suave field agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law). She’s the voice in his earpiece, the eye in the sky. When Fine is apparently killed in the field, their boss (wry Allison Janney) is convinced that they need an unknown agent to gather crucial info. So Cooper goes to Rome and Bulgaria undercover.