30+ My Spy Reviews – Plagued by Been There, Done That

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?

Recommended

  1. 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.”
  2. 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”
  3. 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.”
  4. 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”
  5. 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.”
  6. 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.”
  7. 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”
  8. 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.”
  9. 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.”
  10. 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.”
  11. Mirza Baig / Welcome to Movie Ark! “…a wholly predictable action comedy that will be considered largely enjoyable and fun by its target audience.”
  12. 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.”
  13. 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.”
  14. 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.”
  15. 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.”
  16. 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).”
  17. 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.”
  18. 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.”
  19. 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.”
  20. Trailer Trashed: “It won’t blow you away, its predictable and repetitive, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a good time”
  21. 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.”

Not Recommended

  1. 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.•••”
  2. 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.)”
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.”
  5. Kate Jackson / Sorry, never heard of it!: “Maybe if you’ve got kids then they will enjoy this, but other than that, meh.”
  6. 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.”
  7. 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.”
  8. 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.”
  9. 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.”
  10. 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.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

STX not waiting for theatrical release, My Spy purchased for Amazon Prime Exclusive Streaming

As Judas Priest would say, “You got another thing comin’!'”

Joining the list of movies that were supposed to be theatrical releases comes My Spy [FIRST LOOK] by STX and MWM.

This has been pushed back several times, even before the pandemic, so that probably pushed the price tag down a bit, but it’s still a movie I’m interested in seeing … somewhere.

Amazon Studios has bought rights from STX and MWM to Dave Bautista’s family comedy “My Spy” for exclusive streaming on Amazon Prime in the U.S. and some foreign markets.

Dave Bautista’s ‘My Spy’ Heading to Amazon Prime for Streaming – Variety

Behind he scenes, the streaming leaders (Netflix, Amazon namely) must be working over the studios right now, pushing to see what kind of deals they can make for these new releases.

My Spy joins Trolls World Tour available on VOD Friday April 10, Artemis Fowl going to Disney+ release this summer and Paramount sharing The Lovebirds on Netflix, skipping theatrical release (no release date announced).

Studios are going to find it difficult to resist dollars waving in front of them, especially with fixed costs to pay in the current climate and an eager audience of movie watchers waiting for streaming.

As posted earlier today (see: Disney+ or Hulu might be receiving more movies than Artemis Fowl skipping a theater release), the floodgates are opening. More movies are definitely going to jump from theatrical release to streaming.

Wise marketing not giving release dates immediately so they get the benefit of a secondary promotional news cycle when the release date is announced.

Some will see this as yet another sign to the end to movie theaters as we know them — don’t buy into that BS (see: One Big Reason Why Movie Theaters Will Be OK Compared To Streaming) — this is rightfully a way of making (some) money now and taking care of moviegers at home vs. waiting months and hopping in on a crowded wide release schedule. Theaters will be new movies to screen. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, plenty of new movie watching is available for both.

Stay tuned fellow movie fans!

Trolls World Tour next wide release a month from now, while My Spy and other films missing wide release opportunity

My Spidey sense is tingling concerning the movie, My Spy.

I understand why some of the movie dates are being pushed back. Don’t quite get it with A Quiet Place Part II, that movie could dominate for a nearly a month in whatever theater attendance exists because it would largely be the only game in town.

Everybody that is seeing movies and braving the crowds, including the new policy of “social separation” (more on that to follow), will be lapping up whatever movies are sent our way.

Face it, the theaters for the next month are going to be like water in the desert. Tumblweeds.

My Spy, I’m calling out. That movie definitely should not have not been pushed back again. It’s already been pushed back multiple times, which was making me wonder what was happening with the movie. Not all movie date pushbacks are bad, mind you, especially if they do reshoots, re-editing and fix things that private screenings expose, but there undoubtedly in the current times be movies that push back using the virus as an excuse for additional promotion.

And, here we go, talk of the gay couple subplot and it being tangentially about the LGBTQ presence in movies:

At its heart, My Spy is a story about Dave Bautista getting caught during spy work by a young girl who then blackmails him into teaching her how to be a spy. However, a subplot in this story has young Sophie living next to a gay couple who help drive the tale to some of its funniest moments. Ahead of its release, Dave Bautista has spoken about the LGBT representation in the movie and the fans’ reactions to it.

Dave Bautista Talks Diversity In My Spy After Reactions Praise LGBT Representation – CINEMABLEND

Subplots for diversity? Sigh. Is that all the movie could have done for diversity is make it a subplot? If it’s going to get praise for LGBTQ representation, then why isn’t it a more central plot?

I haven’t seen My Spy yet, can’t because they pushed it back again, but if they had released it this weekend as it was scheduled, I’d be able to see it and comment on how significant the gay couple next door is to the actual movie storyline

(just by the description above it sounds like it was shoehorned in — which is not a favorable way to present any diverse group of people)

What makes me suspicious is that the studio is jumping on the coronavirus excuse train instead of the business logic one, is the LGBQT angle. Is this some promoter pushing this as a social justice angle for the film? This hasn’t worked with other films and now I’m concerned about this one.

Here’s an idea. Why not have made the gay couple the spies? Why not make the gay couple the central characters instead of some beefy white guy (Dave Bautista)? Now that would be a film that promotes diversity.

As a subplot, it’s almost an insult and will only lead to criticism from people saying that it was unnecessary, unneeded and done intentionally to increase attendance from the LGBTQ audience. Moviegoers see through this stuff. Really, we do.

If I was a studio head right now, I’d be moving my new movie into the empty movie theater parking lots until April 10 when Trolls World Tour hits. That’s a month of opportunity to lap up any/all new ticket sales. If your movie is even remotely interesting and entertaining it’s going to sell better in the next month than it will when it goes up against four, five or more wide releases later this year.

Mark my words, that competition is inevitable. The studios only have room for so many wide release movies, so the 2-4 movies each week for 4 weeks that should have been released will now be tacked onto other weeks when there are already 2-4 wide release movies.

Seriously, do the studios think the average moviegoer is going to see double and triple-header movies just because they decided to go wide the same weekend as tentpole movies like No Time To Die?

It’s not my money. I get what they are trying to do. They think releasing now when theater attendance is down and there is a severely limited international audience makes sense. I get it for James Bond #25 (see: Even James Bond isn’t immune to coronavirus, No Time to Die pushed back to November) but I don’t for A Quiet Place Part II or My Spy and probably dozens more movies with less fanfare that are missing a significant moviegoer audience who wants to see your films right now, coronavirus be damned.

Or, maybe you think I’m wrong and we should have literally a black hole for all new movies for a month? It doesn’t make any sense to starve the hungry.

I do agree there are some gigantic budget movies that depend critically on international box office sales, and those should be pushed back, but where are the lower budget films? The ones that don’t have the bigger international draw? Why aren’t those being released between now and Trolls World Tour on April 10?

Riddle me this, Batman: a month of empty theaters, just another middle finger from this virus gone wild.

FIRST LOOK: My Spy

Friday the 13th is a great month to release a new horror movie. No real tie-in to a comedy spy thriller.

Why does this plot seem so familiar? Young snarky girl with deadly CIA Agent. It’s the old story of youth (inexperience) meets stoic, tatted up military experience.

My Spy follows JJ a hardened CIA operative (Dave Bautista) who has been demoted and finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, named Sophie (Chloe Coleman) where he has been sent undercover begrudgingly to surveil her family. When Sophie discovers hidden cameras in her apartment she uses her tech savviness to locate where the surveillance operation is set. In exchange for not blowing JJ’s cover Sophie convinces him to spend time with her and teach her to be a spy. Despite his reluctance JJ finds he is no match for Sophie’s disarming charm and wit.

Movie Insider Story Info

Trailer reactions after the video.

My Spy official trailer

Trailer reactions:

  • Dave Bautista’s character is not that good with people … but he’s good at blowing stuff up and bashing bad guys. Been there, done that
  • The Rock could just as easily have been in this movie .. or John Cena … or … well, just about any other big body actor (Vin Diesel!)
  • Hey, Ken Jeong is in this, he’s funny! Liked.
  • Why does Sophie want him to teach her how to be a spy?
  • Lie detector test scene, hmm.
  • Dodgeball!!!! You get the sense he’s about to bring the pain

Looks like this movie has some potential. Am I super excited about seeing it? Bloodshot and The Hunt are also being released this same day and I have much greater interest in seeing those. This could surprise and have more to this than the trailer, which seems like all too familiar scenes: blowing up a car, tough CIA agent beating up the bad guys, awkward girl meets tough CIA guy and he helps her become more socially acceptable, or at least dangerous and she gives him a lesson in acting/being more human and compassionate. Yes, I hope there’s more to it than this.

My Spy opens wide in theaters on March 13, 2020.

9 Movies COMING TO THEATERS in March 2020

Movies coming to theaters in March 2020 (some pictured are coming other months)

NOTE: This post will continue to be updated until the end of March 2020, as movie release dates change, sometimes within weeks of the scheduled release date

The following are movie trailers and my early thoughts for all films tentatively scheduled coming to theaters in March 2020.

2020 Theater Releases
JAN | FEB | MARCH 2020

If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post is being updated throughout the year). Most releases profiled below are WIDE screenings showing on 2,000+ theater screens in the United States. If the movie title has the word LIMITED following then it means it’s being released on less than 2,000 screenings in the United States.

All movie release dates unless otherwise indicated are for the United States, the release dates in other countries may vary.

March 2020 Movies

First Cow – LIMITED from A24

First Cow official trailer (A24) – opens March 6, 2020

LOL. I keep laughing while watching this trailer.

A movie about a … cow? They are like the most passive, boring animals on the planet. They move around lethargically and “moo!” all the time, eat grass and, well, provide a very awesome supply of milk. We wouldn’t have cheese or milk without cows, so god bless ’em, but a movie about a “first” cow?

Don’t know. It’s got to be a 0/10 for anticipation from me. That’s a first on this blog, as I’ve not been as disinterested in seeing any movie like this one.

The only reason it’s even here is because it is from the studio A24, that has released some surprisingly good movies. It’s a LIMITED release, which means I might not even see it pass through the theaters in this area, but maybe others reading this will. And can’t help but be at least a tiny bit curious based on the boring subject matter.

A movie about a cow .. yeah, ok, maybe it should be 10/10 for anticipation because, honestly, in the many thousands of movies I’ve seen in 40+ years of watching movies, I can’t remember seeing even one about a cow.

Didn’t think a movie about a tire called Rubber⭐️⭐️⭐️½ would ever remotely appeal to me either, so why not a movie about a cow?

Thank you for the laughs, A24, even though this appears to not be a comedy.

Anticipation for First Cow: 0/10

The Way Back
[FIRST LOOK]

The Way Back official trailer – opens March 6, 2020

Bearded Ben Affleck as a high school (?) basketball coach. Looks a little on the sappy side and possibly even cliched. He’s got a drinking problem. Gee, where have we seen Ben Affleck in a movie boozing it up before? The plot all seems very familiar to me, based on the trailer. A man down on his luck, coaches a losing team (Bad News Bears, anyone?). Although this seems to be going the heavy drama route and not comedy.

Have enjoyed some Ben Affleck movies, but he is kind of like Nicolas Cage to me, sort of one-dimensional. And what was the last good movie I’ve seen him in, anyway? It’s been awhile. I know he’s now divorced from Jennifer Garner (sad, too, because they looked like a nice couple together), which should have nothing to do with his movies, but somehow that is the most recent thing I can think of hearing or seeing him in the news.

I’m not very interested in watching this movie after the trailer. The title is more interesting than the trailer.

Anticipation for The Way Back: 1/10

Onward
[FIRST LOOK]

Onward official trailer #1
Onward official trailer #2 – opens March 6, 2020

Pixar does it again with eye-catching graphic work and a bizarre, yet catchy trailer. “24 hours to bring back … the rest of dad” — what a hook!

This looks like a ton of animated fun. Am not sure if it will be age-appropriate for our grandchildren, but the story has a very Twilight Zone like edge to it which definitely appeals to me. Looking forward to this almost as much as Trolls World Tour.

Anticipation for Onward: 7/10

Bloodshot
[FIRST LOOK]
RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Feb 21 to March 13, 2020

Bloodshot official trailer – opening in theaters March 13, 2020

This shares the distinction of being the only 2020 movie based on a comic book character not coming from Marvel or DC. Have been a fan of Vin Diesel in action, notably the Fast & Furious franchise, so curious to see what he does with a Valiants comic character.

I don’t like the background song choice for the trailer. Doesn’t fit. The trailer otherwise makes the film look interesting. The release date was delayed and pushed back a month, was this so they could work on it more or the result of a negative test screening? Don’t know. Torn on this one. This could go either way.

Anticipation for Bloodshot 5/10

My Spy

My Spy opens March 13, 2020 – official trailer

Another delayed and pushed back title. Juvenile action-humor feel to the trailer. Reminds me of something The Rock or John Cena would do/have done, but instead this is Dave Bautista trying to be Dwayne Johnson or John Cena. Big, strong tough guy with 9-year-old girl “teaching” her how to be a spy. This doesn’t seem like a promising movie — at all.

Will probably appeal to families though like Playing With Fire⭐️½  which means it will likely get horrible reviews, but make money, encouraging similar future movies. I don’t think, based on the trailer, that this movie will be for me. Hoping I’m wrong.

Anticipation for My Spy: 2/10

The Informer (LIMITED)

The Informer opens (LIMITED) in theaters March 13, 2020

“It’s happening.” Seems more like a horror line than a thriller, but could fit.

Originally scheduled to release January 2020 and moved which makes me a bit less interested by default. The third movie this month moved from another month. Are the studios making March 2020 their new dumping ground? Also, this went from a wide release to LIMITED, which means less likelihood I’ll see it in theaters near me, anyway.

My original trailer viewing had me thinking this was an average thriller. Rewatching? No change.

Anticipation for The Informer: 2/10

The Hunt
[FIRST LOOK]

Bonus drop-in movie on 2/13/2020. This film was mired in controversy back in September 2019 when it was dropped for being a political hot potato. Read the FIRST LOOK for more.

Anticipation for The Hunt: 7/10

I Still Believe

I Still Believe official trailer – opens March 20, 2020

Christian musician who wants his fans to help him pray for his wife that is diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is based on a true story. Jeremy Camp’s spiritual journey to overcome his wife’s illness. This looks like a crying fest. Stay away from Wikipedia as it will ruin what happens in this movie. Darn it, why did I bother to look up this musician’s page? Oh well, I knew what happened with the Titanic and still enjoyed that, so maybe the spoilers won’t matter.

I don’t look for tear-jerker spiritual dramas, but this one seems more promising than several other titles this month.

Anticipation for I Still Believe: 3/10

A Quiet Place: Part II
[FIRST LOOK]

A Quiet Place: Part II official trailer – opens March 20, 2020

Sequel to A Quiet Place ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½.

Easily the most anticipated movie of March. I hadn’t seen the first horror film until recently and that easily became one of the best newer horror films I’ve seen in several years. Very scary, non comedy horror. These sightless creatures are the stuff of nightmares. Can’t wait to see this one!

Anticipation for A Quiet Place Part II: 9/10

Mulan

Mulan official trailer – opens March 27, 2020

Disney live action based on the animated film of the same name. This will probably make boatloads of $$$ at the box office, but definitely not something I’m very interested in seeing. I do like the whole China backdrop, however, so maybe I’ll turn out loving this one. Just never know.

I’ve never seen the animated film it’s based on, either. These Disney live action remakes have been received less enthusiastically by critics, but moviegoers have seen them in droves.

Anticipation for Mulan: 3/10

Ranking the March 2020 movies by anticipation (as of this writing)

  1. A Quiet Place Part II – 9/10
  2. The Hunt – 7/10 (bonus 10th movie added on 2/13/2020)
  3. Onward – 7/10
  4. Bloodshot – 5/10
  5. I Still Believe – 3/10
  6. Mulan – 3/10
  7. The Informer – 2/10
  8. My Spy – 2/10
  9. The Way Back – 1/10
  10. First Cow – 0/10

What movies in March 2020 are you looking forward to seeing?