ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"My Spy" Movie Review

Updated on June 29, 2020
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

My Spy
My Spy | Source

Though My Spy may seem like the latest entry in the long line of kiddie flicks featuring tough guys hanging out with (and getting softened by) their young co-stars—think 2007’s The Game Plan or even 1990’s Kindergarten Cop—it actually carries a PG-13 rating. And that little bit of an edge gives parents a reason to stick around... along with the fact that we’re all stuck in our houses anyway, the kids are going stir-crazy, and the movie’s free on Amazon Prime.

When we first meet Dave Bautista’s JJ—an ex-Special Forces hulk trying to prove he has enough finesse to go undercover for the CIA—he’s trying to break up a diamonds-for-plutonium deal between some bad guys in Ukraine. Those first ten minutes are sprinkled with pop culture references, including a famous line from 1999’s Notting Hill, Nena’s classic “99 Luftballons”, and even a Russian rendition of “My Heart Will Go On”, just so we know what we’re in for.

The mission goes south, though, giving JJ’s boss (an amusing Ken Jeong) no choice but to relegate him to tedious stakeout duty in Chicago with CIA tech Bobbi (Kristen Schaal). Their mark is a woman whose late husband’s brother is a bad guy wanted for something. (Who knows what, but that part of the plot is hopelessly muddled anyway and ultimately winds up as only a pointless distraction.) Meanwhile, the woman’s precocious nine-year-old daughter Sophie (Chloe Coleman), discovers JJ and Bobbi’s hideout and then proceeds to blackmail them—either they help her out with a few favors, or she exposes them on the internet. And, yes, she is only nine.

Being the new kid in town, little Sophie is either bullied or ignored by all her classmates, but having a tough guy on her hip changes things really fast. Before long, she’s not only making friends but also getting a taste for the spy life. Cue the humorous montage of JJ training Sophie how to beat a lie detector test and to distract bad guys in order to make a quick escape.

There’s definitely something endearing about My Spy, and it’s mostly the result of the chemistry shared by Bautista and Coleman. Picking up where his Guardians of the Galaxy character Drax left off, Bautista reminds us not only of his comic timing but also his softer side, and Coleman (who has already turned heads in Big Little Lies and Prime’s Upload) continues to dazzle here.

Screenwriter siblings Jon and Erich Hoeber, who gave us 2010’s RED and its 2013 sequel, have put together a largely winning script, full of sharp humor for both young and old alike. The only real issues arise whenever the film cuts away from JJ and Sophie to focus on the nefarious men who, naturally, are making their way to Chicago for the all-to-obvious showdown, wherein JJ, naturally, will prove his worth and, naturally, get back in the good graces of his boss. A secondary subplot involving JJ falling for Sophie’s mom is also completely vacuous.

Credit the Hoebers, along with director Peter Segal (2003’s Get Smart), for not going the cutesy, rated-G route, though. What could have been a throw-away clunker appealing only to 8-year-olds instead emerges as a halfway decent bit of early-summer fun for everyone over the age of 8. And, really, you haven’t truly lived until you’ve heard “My Heart Will Go On” in Russian.

Rating

3/5 stars

'My Spy' trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)