My Spy (2020)

Almost Totally in Control

A hardened CIA operative finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, having been sent undercover to surveil her family.

One of the most delayed films in history, My Spy, finally premieres in my country this week. When a movie gets delayed so often, it usually has to do with production issues: studio change, cast and/or crew replacements, something that affects the film with reshoots, new edits, and who knows what else. It also serves as an indication that it might not be good at all. Why would someone change a movie if it doesn’t have any significant flaws? Therefore, I didn't have big expectations for what seemed like a generic action-comedy flick starring Dave Bautista, who I love to watch as Drax (Guardians of the Galaxy), but I don't know how well he can carry a film as the protagonist.
My Spy is surprisingly decent. I don't understand why it got delayed so much. It's a relatively innocent, inoffensive flick featuring two fantastic lead performances. Dave Bautista proves that he can handle being the protagonist of a movie. It took me a few minutes to get convinced by his display, but he gets better as time goes by. However, Chloe Coleman steals the spotlight as the young girl Bautista needs to take care of. With eleven-years-old, she's got more emotional range and comedic timing than a lot of grown-up actors. Excellent performance and great chemistry between the two!
Parisa Fitz-Henley is also pretty good as Sophie's mother, Kate, while Kristen Schaal struggles a bit between being funny without getting annoying by portraying JJ's partner, Bobbi. The relationships between each character develop in a formulaic, cliche manner. There are no surprises throughout the whole runtime, character and story-wise, but that doesn't mean the viewer can't have fun with what Peter Segal ends up delivering.
It's funny at times, it plays off of a few stereotypes regarding action flicks, and it doesn't overstay its welcome. It boasts a fast pace and a few exciting action sequences, so it has all the ingredients to be a fun, entertaining film. Nevertheless, it's far from being groundbreaking or special. Every single character is recycled from thousands of other movies, every plot point is just another take on something repeated throughout cinema's history, and technically it's as generic as it could be.
Overall, I was ready to give this one a positive grade… but the film either fails to deliver closure on an issue regarding Sophie's school "friends", or it assumes that everything is fine by the end of the movie. Bullying is an extremely serious subject, and there are a lot of kids that struggle to fit in and make real friends. I don't want to spoil what the writers do with this side of Sophie's life, but it honestly doesn't send a nice message to young viewers and their parents. I choose to believe that they just forgot to tie that knot…
My Spy is exactly what it intended to be, and it checks the four famous boxes: it's a cheesy, predictable, cliche, formulaic genre film that, while it doesn't bring anything remotely unique to the realm of movies, it's still fun to watch on a Sunday afternoon. Boasting two exceptional lead performances from Dave Bautista and Chloe Coleman, Peter Segal delivers an inoffensive action-comedy flick that doesn't take itself too seriously. It possesses some funny and entertaining scenes, but it's far from being an outstanding piece of cinema. Erich Hoeber and Jon Hoeber are not known for being creative and imaginative, so it's a matter of not having high expectations and enjoying it for what it is. The reason I'm not giving this one a positive grade is due to the lack of closure given to a significant issue regarding Coleman's character arc, which sends the wrong message to everyone (kids and parents) going through the same problem. I still recommend it as a fun movie to watch at home with friends and/or family. Just don't expect too much from it.
Rating: C+

STX Entertainment, MWM Studios by Peter Segal, Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber.
Stars: Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Kristen Schaal.

Genres: Action, Comedy, Family

Keywords: spy


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