My Spy ⭐️⭐️½
Another movie that probably wouldn’t have spent much time in theater, nor made that much money, was purchased by Amazon and is available for streaming on Prime Video to subscribers. I hope whatever Amazon paid was reasonable enough.
In some ways this movie reminded me of the totally unrelated story Playing With Fire, only instead of John Cena in a firehouse, we’ve got Dave Bautista as a CIA agent. Instead of multiple children, we have one 9-year-old girl.
But before breaking this movie down in more detail, a warning is required for those who do want to see this movie (my spoiler-free review is linked above if you want to read that). If you have already seen the movie or don’t care if it’s spoiled, feel free to continue reading.
… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …
Let’s start with something positive.
Friendly adult and child chemistry between Bautista and Chloe Coleman
There is a warmth in the chemistry on screen between Dave Bautista and child actress Chloe Coleman. It’s even clearer in this interview with both of them.
Sadly, the chemistry in the movie comes more from the child actress Coleman than Bautista. He may have been really proud of this movie, but his acting most of the time is like watching a wooden statue. Really, truly zombie-like.
Is it a spy thriller or an outsider kid meets brawny CIA operative movie?
As mentioned at the start of this post, the focus of this film is a mess. Who is it aimed at? At times it seemed like it was a family movie and at times it was going for a spy thriller. As presented, it was a little Kindergarten Cop and some Playing With Fire.
This would have been a bust at the box office
Not what Bautista wants to hear, and we’ll never know for certain, but this movie wouldn’t have done that well at the box office. It’s too bad, because I could tell he was really, really trying here. I liked Bautista’s effort, just not the results.
Some good scenes
At times I was entertained and well, like the scene where Sophie (Coleman) discovers J.J (Bautista) is running a surveillance option and live streams him, threatening to post to all her social media. Timely, funny scene.
Reviews By Others
What do others think about My Spy?
- Berning Away: “…it’s not absolutely fantastic, but it is an entertainingly enjoyable and decent flick that is just right to while away a couple of hours (or less) during this quarantine.”
- Cath Talks: “The movie is a good one which reeks of action, adventure, comedy and a little romance. The movie has some swear words so don’t leave kids alone to watch it. It’s a great movie”
- Darren Lucas / Movie Reviews 101: “…an entertaining comedy that the family could enjoy, it will get enough laughs and continues to show Dave Bautista becoming a bigger name in the action comedy world.”
- Ed Sum / Otaku no Culture: “My Spy with my little eye is a story comparable to Jackie Chan’s Spy Next Door. Both involve a CIA operative trying to maintain his cover while dealing with kids”
- EYG / Embrace Your Geekness: “I have to say that I got some Kindergarten Cop vibe from the film. Much of the story is very similar to that Schwarzenegger flick. Dave Bautista carries the film, showing some absolute star quality.”
- Film Epoch (Grade: B-): “Primarily due to Bautista’s humble, likable personality, My Spy mostly works in spite of its many cliches. Kristen Schaal provides ample comic support as his new techie partner in the field, and there is charm to spare when the lonely spy meets the leery, bite-sized genius (Chloe Coleman), the both of them producing unexpected laughs for such a pedestrian script.”
- filmfanstake: “It’s nothing special, no twists or turns here from the generic spy comedy plot. You’re here for the laughs and the action and My Spy delivers both in spades”
- jasonbleau / Cinema Spotlight (3/5): “…didn’t disappoint or enthrall me and that’s kind of what I expected. In the end I actually found it more enjoyable than frustrating due to its charming cast that make the few bright moments work just enough to balance out the rest of the story which, in itself, isn’t exactly boring but also isn’t very memorable.”
- Josh Lasser / The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews (3/5): “…succeeds more than it fails. It will endlessly please kids and will cause adults to chuckle repeatedly. It is a film which exists well outside the bounds of our reality and yet still is at its best when focusing on real relationships. It even works when that relationship is centered on the unreal, like JJ teaching Sophie spy craft.”
- licorcerub: “…is actually quite enjoyable. Despite no big laughs and its typical premise, My Spy has a lot of likable faces, chiefly the young girl, Chloe Coleman, playing Sophie, and is much more pleasant than I anticipated.”
- Mirza Baig / Welcome to Movie Ark! “…a wholly predictable action comedy that will be considered largely enjoyable and fun by its target audience.”
- One Movie, Our Views (2/4): “It’s predictable and clichéd and we know exactly where it’s going to end up, but My Spy still isn’t the worst thing out there for families and is kept mostly watchable thanks to the likeable interplay between Bautista and Coleman.”
- Phil The Bear’s Film Reviews: “Ultimately what the film has winning amounts of is humour and heart. Bautista is genuinely brilliant at looking shocked by events happening around him and the likes of Schaal and Ken Jeong (as his boss) add there trademark humour.”
- redmangoreviews: “…is a simple, straight forward movie and its ability to entertain you will probably rely on how much you enjoyed other films like it. For me, it was an easy entertaining way to pass some time.”
- RockAtTheMovies (6.5/10): “Overall, its a film where nothing new happens and is predictable. However, in a time of very little going on it works to kill time and further shows that Batista (much like other former professional wrestlers) might have a good time in the film industry.”
- Sarah Cartland / Caution Spoilers: “My Spy‘s tonal imbalance may leave adults frustrated but the film’s mixture of clever tween who doesn’t fit in, broad comedy, cute dog and the odd huge explosion means it should work well for a younger age group (I think my 10 year old will love it).”
- Sarah Taviani: “It’s not a laugh-a-minute film, but there were definitely some chuckles in the audience. This is a light, fun feature that has something for kids and adults alike.”
- Stephen Bowman / The East Madison Review (8.5/10): “Dave Bautista was golden in this comedic role, but the little girl is amazing too. Her character is three-dimensional and she does an amazing job with the many aspects involved in the complicated role. I would really like to see a sequel bringing these two back together.”
- The Sardonic Romantic: “Although it is clear to see an intent to make this more than the conventional hardman does comedy picture, it never really breaks the shackles it seems to intentionally strap to itself. To say I enjoyed My Spy might, for that reason be going a little too far but if I had to pick between this and the other films of its kind, I’d gladly watch this again.”
- Trailer Trashed: “It won’t blow you away, its predictable and repetitive, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a good time”
- QTAS Reviews: “…is a film for younger audiences, so the humour is targeted appropriately. However, overall it is a middle-of-the-road family comedy at best. It is absolutely a movie you can take your popcorn-munching children to and they will have a fantastic time, but if you are looking for anything more, don’t invest too long in this one.”
- Daniel M. Kimmel / NorthShoreMovies.net (1.5/5): “…a movie that may distract uncritical younger viewers, but is not very good. Given its violent content, parents will be well advised to take a look and see if they deem it appropriate viewing for their own children.•••”
- Howard for Film: “Sure, you can argue that it’s a family film and perhaps I’m not the target demographic but the film also contains some words that I wouldn’t want a young child to hear and there’s one scene where a dismembered head goes flying through the air. (These days, though, kids are exposed to so much more than I was at that age so you may feel differently.)”
- Irfan Nordin / Irfan Reviews Films (5/10): “My Spy plugs Dave Bautista into the “charismatic action star meets cute kid” formula, with generally painless albeit decidedly mediocre results.”
- Joe Baker / Dallas Film News: “I only wish its exaggerated action subplots were replaced by a more simple story of a young girl and her hapless father-figure. There’s a complex story somewhere in there, it’s just hidden by plot mechanics and over-ambitious, dumb action-film zeal.”
- Kate Jackson / Sorry, never heard of it!: “Maybe if you’ve got kids then they will enjoy this, but other than that, meh.”
- Keith Loves Movies (50%): “Though nostalgically enjoyable, My Spy is comprised more of shlock, pandering, and hollow jokes than the heart or humour it believes it has.”
- Luke / Another Millennial Reviewer (2/5): “…despite some highpoints like the comedy as well as great prop choices, this film is cringey and feels about 20 years too late. It is not an action film and despite a valiant effort from Bautista and Schaal it is not much of a comedy film either.”
- nathanzoebl: “…little moments are enough to convince me there was a superior draft of this script before it was dulled and softened in the rewrite process for mass consumption. It’s not going to be a great film experience but as formulas go, Bautista plus precocious kid is winning enough to satisfy for 90 minutes.”
- Peter Cox / The Lost Highway Hotel: “It’s not too much, but its indicative of a movie that feels as though its been stitched together from various sources to create 90 minutes of ‘content’, rather like your more typical for-hire Netflix Original that somehow got lost and wandered its way into theatres. When it inevitably lands on the streaming platform its anonymity might finally feel at home. But in the multiplex, it isn’t really clear who this is for.”
- WillCBlogs (4/10): “All in all, My Spy had potential even with shotty writing and acting. The comedy felt proper and if some elements of the script were rearranged, the end product would be more appealing.”
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Happy movie watching!