You know how everybody was going on about what a feminist movie Mad Max: Fury Road is? Yeah. I saw it a while back, and it’s pretty good, and it was nice to see the hero get the tar (briefly) beaten out of him by a woman, and the MRA tears were simply delicious. But while it had strong female characters and was a pretty good flick, it wasn’t the feminist movie I was looking for.
ZOMG, you guys, it was delicious. B and I went together today in a bid to escape the heatwave. I thought I’d like it okay, y’know, well enough for a hot summer day. I didn’t expect to love it entirely and wish to stay for the next showing, and want to own it on DVD the instant it comes out.
It’s so beautifully done. It turns so many tropes on their heads. It has a truly strong female lead. What’s more, that female lead is a fat chick. She is the most kickass fat chick in the history of the universe. Susan Cooper (played by Melissa McCarthy) starts out as a kind of Moneypenny, sighing over the dashing master spy who doesn’t love her, although he’s happy to use her talents. He’s kind enough to take her out to dinner as a thanks for saving his ass in the field – and gives her the world’s worst cupcake pendant. Susan is out of place in the fancy French restaurants and sophisticated circles her spy runs in. You feel for her as she tries to cover her faux paux, and is mortally embarrassed about a billion times over.
Then her spy, Fine, gets killed on a mission. And since the other field agents are blown, she volunteers to track down the woman who killed him. This is when we find out there’s more to her than we suspected – when she initially went through training, she was brilliant. Nothing could stop her.
She’s given frumpy disguises, and there’s a lot of laughing at the crazy cat lady trope. She goes beyond the scope of the mission, kicks ass, takes names, deals with sexual harassment, saves a rogue spy’s ass on several occasions, and (spoiler alert) ends up deciding she could do better than the guy of her dreams.
It’s bloody hilarious, too. There are extended jokes, one-liners, and literal middle fingers. The fight choreography is outstanding, in places breathtaking. Spy shows what happens when you let women get their hands on a male-dominated genre and remake it in their image, without pandering to the male gaze and tired expectations.
I haven’t enjoyed a movie this thoroughly in about forever. We’re going to rope B’s brothers into going with us, so I’ll talk about it more once I’ve had a chance to see it again. For now, lemme just say: go see it. Unless you’re an MRA, you’re going to have a thoroughly enjoyable time.