Home My Spy

My Spy (12A)

Cast: Parisa Fitz-Henley, Chloe Coleman, Dave Bautista, Kristen Schaal
Genre: Action
Author(s): Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Director: Peter Segal
Release Date: 13/03/2020
Running Time: 99mins
Country: US
Year: 2020

Special Forces operative JJ struggles to embrace the subtleties of retraining as a CIA spy. His heavy-handed approach to one undercover mission results in the loss of a nuclear core to terrorist Marquez. To redeem himself, JJ begrudgingly undertakes covert surveillance of Marquez's sister-in-law, Kate Newton. JJ is ordered to keep a low profile. Unfortunately, Kate's resourceful nine-year-old daughter Sophie blows his cover and blackmails JJ into training her as a spy.


 

LondonNet Film Review
My Spy (12A)

I spy with my little eye something beginning with F. Formulaic. Fun-filled. Fanciful. Family-friendly. Froth. Take your pick when it comes to director Peter Segal’s fitful action comedy, which pairs a musclebound man and a precocious, resourceful moppet in a cartoonish battle of wits that ultimately – and oh so predictably – enriches both characters’ lives. Screenwriting brothers Jon and Erich Hoeber follow the same lesson plan as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s lumbering 1990 caper Kindergarten Cop, which was reused for Mr Nanny starring Hulk Hogan, The Pacifier starring Dwayne Johnson and Playing With Fire starring John Cena…

Chloe Coleman as Sophie Newton and Dave Bautista as JJ in My Spy, directed by Peter Segal. Photo: Michael Gibson. Copyright: 2018 STX Financing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Retired professional wrestler and bodybuilder Dave Bautista, best known as potty-mouthed Drax The Destroyer in the Guardians Of The Galaxy films, takes the requisite tumbles on an ice rink and bruises to his ego as the emotionally closed hero, who learns to love and trust again by kowtowing to a child’s whims. My Spy’s excessive sweetness is tempered by a winning performance from 11-year-old Chloe Coleman as the pint-sized princess of sass, who seems to have all the answers until bullets start flying.

Special Forces operative JJ (Bautista) struggles to embrace the subtleties of retraining as a covert asset under CIA director David Kim (Ken Jeong). The military man’s heavy-handed approach to espionage, sporting a faux East European accent that one arms dealer likens to Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2, allows a nuclear core to fall into the clutches of terrorist Marquez (Greg Bryk). To redeem himself, JJ undertakes surveillance of Marquez’s sister-in-law, ER nurse Kate Newton (Parisa Fitz-Henley), by moving into the same Chicago apartment block with his smitten technical support, Bobbi (Kristen Schaal).

The bickering duo are ordered to maintain a low profile and avoid causing further embarrassment to the CIA. Unfortunately, Kate’s nine-year-old daughter Sophie (Coleman) blows the agents’ cover and blackmails JJ into training her as a spy. The girl engineers a date between Kate and JJ, who acquires a neck scarf after a hasty sartorial makeover by the gay couple (Devere Rogers, Noah Danby) down the hall. “He got Queer Eyed by Todd and Carlos,” Sophie remarks to her mother. With the mission compromised and his feelings for Kate blossoming, JJ faces a crisis of conscience that will determine his long-term future in the CIA.

My Spy is bookended by well-choreographed action sequences that play to Bautista’s strengths. He leaves the comedic heavy lifting to Schaal and Jeong, who deserve far better material than the Hoeber brothers deliver on this occasion. An inert romance of convenience between Bautista and co-star Fitz-Henley is a triumph of effort over achievement, which neatly deflects concerns about a fully grown man attaching himself to a minor. Brawn trumps brains at Segal’s school of hard knocks and deafening explosions.

– Kim Wu

 


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