'Spy' SXSW review: Melissa McCarthy saves the world in a bawdy, bloody espionage comedy

March 16, 2015 8:30 AM

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As someone who had to push past Hollywood’s narrow standards of existence, much less beauty, Melissa McCarthy has built a big-screen career out of characters whom others foolishly underestimate. Her “Bridesmaids” character might be brash and inappropriate, but she’s got high-level nuclear security clearance, while her detective in “The Heat” was both a damn good cop and a sexual dynamo with many heartbroken men in her wake.

“Spy,” her latest team-up with director Paul Feig (who also wrote the script), takes the actress’ particular set of skills to its broadest canvas yet, allowing her to globe-trot from Paris to Rome to Budapest as CIA agent Susan Cooper, who surprises not just those around her but also herself with he...

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