My Spy (2020) - USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
The best thing about Dave Bautista’s action family comedy is surprising whenever he shares the screen with child actress Chloe Coleman. The trend of action stars playing spies, undercover cops and buddying up with kids goes back a long way, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Kindergarten Cop”, Jackie Chan’s “The Spy Next Door” and even Dolph Lundgren in “Kindergarten Cop 2”. These kind of films appeal to the family group of fans and have their certain level of appeal, but it could also easily be a hit and miss experience. The good news is that “My Spy”’ genuinely works as both a family comedy and spy action flick as we see Bautista goes about the trouble of taking care of Coleman all in the name of good natured humour.
Dave Bautista has probably seen more action scenes than most and is right at home whenever a “Mission Impossible” explosion or “plane” chase is required. However, Bautista’s awkwardness and subtle kindness when he is required to play along with Chloe Coleman is where the film is at its best. Coleman helps Bautista with a confident child performance as a spy in training. Kristen Schaal as partner in crime helps the proceeding with a light hearted diversion. Ken Jeong is simply scene stealing as the hard-ass CIA head. Meanwhile, love interest and protection target Parisa Fitz-Henley plays the role of mother and lover with good chemistry.
All in all, “My Spy” is the good enough throwback to the 90s family action comedies and provides Bautista with an against type role to expand his acting range. There is a lot of fun to be had as we seen the brooding action star takes a softer side and approach to things. Director Peter Segal is no strange to action comedies and made the most of a stoic leading action star for a likeable performance. Mindless entertainment for what it is worth.
I rated it 6.5/10