Bridesmaids, The Heat and now Spy, Paul Feig’s rapid ascent to comedy maestro is cemented by this laugh-a-minute and extremely well cast, if padded, action-comedy. Dried up CIA desk analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is sent out into the field to stop deadly arms dealer Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) in her tracks when the identities of all active operatives are exposed. Spy is a hearty and spirited send-up of the most infamous espionage films that also embraces – and reforms – the well-worn framework. The script, however, flounders in its unrefined state, causing the film to drag every now and then. But the humour consistently hits the mark; the cast heartily rising to the challenge and producing many stand out moments and hysterical one-liners. Jason Statham, Allison Janney and especially Byrne emerge as the closest matches to McCarthy, who’s a fireball of energy and ingenuity. Spy might drop the ball on the odd occasion, but for the most part it’s top drawer comical brilliance.