If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free reviews, please follow my blog @ https://www.msbreviews.com 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 made headlines when they agreed to sell their upcoming film “My SPY” to Amazon so the movie could debut on the streaming service versus waiting for the highly uncertain time when audiences will be able to return to theaters in significant numbers to make films profitable. The movie stars Dave Bautista as a C.I.A. agent named JJ. JJ was a former Special Forces member who joined the agency after his military career ended. After an operation does not go as planned; JJ’s boss David Kim (Ken Jeong) questions whether JJ is right for the type of work that is required. JJ is assigned with an overzealous analyst named Bobbi (Kristen Schaal) to conduct surveillance on a single mother named Kate (Parisa Fitz-Henley) and her nine-year-old daughter Sophie (Chloe Coleman). Kate Sophie had just moved from Paris and are struggling to adapt to the new situation. It seems that Sophie’s father was deeply involved in all sorts of illegal operations and JJ and Bobbi are keeping an eye on them to see if their uncle attempts to contact them as he’s a key figure in an ongoing plutonium arms deal. Things take an unexpected turn when the precocious Sophie figures out that their apartment is loaded with surveillance gear and soon tracks it to an adjacent apartment and confronts JJ and Bobbi. Unwilling to have to admit to his superiors that their cover was blown by a nine-year-old girl; JJ soon becomes Sophie’s new friend as she forces him to take her ice-skating and to appear at a school career day as she is desperate to make friends following her move. This arrangement causes issues with Bobbi and she believes that JJ needs to be training her in the finer aspects of his career. Further complicating matters is a growing attraction between JJ and Kate thanks to Sophie repeatedly finding ways for her mother and JJ to be together. While most viewers will be able to see where the film is heading; the enjoyable cast and the chemistry between them makes the movie rise above standard family comedies. Bautista does a great job poking fun at his action persona and clearly showed in his “Guardians of the Galaxy” performances that he is certainly capable of mixing comedy and action. While the film does not offer much in the way of surprises; it does offer some very charming and enjoyable moments with enough humor to make it an enjoyable viewing experience for the entire family. 3.5 stars out of 5
In what usually proves to be rare in the cinema world, “My Spy” is a family film that exceeds expectations, if only slightly. The studio’s marketing campaign didn’t do the film any favors, including a trailer filled with groan-worthy dad jokes and a series of pratfalls, but this gruff-lunkhead-meets-sassy-kid buddy comedy is better than you’d think. Hard-nosed CIA operative J.J. (Dave Bautista) has recently been demoted to undercover stakeout duty, assigned to watch a precocious nine-year-old girl Sophie (Chloe Coleman) and her mother (Parisa Fitz-Henley). When the wise beyond her years little girl discovers the hidden surveillance cameras in her apartment, she uses her instincts to find and expose J.J. and his tech-savvy partner Bobbi (Kristen Schaal). Sophie is ready to blow the CIA’s cover, but makes a deal with the two in a mild form of blackmail — J.J. must spend time with her doing fun things like getting ice cream, going ice skating, and teaching her to be a spy. Much of the film’s success lies in the chemistry of the two leads, an odd pairing that somehow feels organic. Coleman isn’t an annoying child actor, and Bautista is one of the most likeable muscle heads around. The supporting cast, filled in by Schaal, Fitz-Henley, and Ken Jeong, are amusing, too. They deliver simple, straightforward jokes with aplomb, helping to sell even the most ridiculous aspects of the story to households huddled around the t.v. for family movie night. It’s nice to have pleasant little films like this to pass the time at home, and while “My Spy” isn’t very distinguished nor too original, it also isn’t wholly lazy, mindless junk. The PG-13 rating gives it a bit of edginess in terms of action, and despite stereotypical comedy tropes and a basic story, the movie supplies enough good fun to warrant a mild recommendation.
To me, this is an old fashioned comedy action movie. Think Schwarzenegger teamed up with children. The dialogue is witty and the film is fit for the entire family to watch together. I wouldn’t claim it is groundbreaking or an instant classic, but it was entertaining. I really liked Kristen Schawlow as Bobbi, the inexperienced sidekick. It is not a glamorous role but in a way, she balances out the lack of cuteness of the child star, who is depicted as mature in the art of spying. She steals a few scenes along the way. I was bemused to see a couple of reviews that said it is a good movie, but then rated it 5 out of 10, which makes it seem like the innocence and the playfulness of the genre is ramping the rating down. Or perhaps I am just an easy grader. In any case, I am less demanding with science fiction and kid comedies. I do not turn my nose up if they are merely good rather than great. This one is good, so I will be watching My Spy again.