My Spy review – light, unassuming, & needed

April 25, 2020
M.N. Miller 0
Amazon Prime, Film Reviews


My Spy is the kind of light distraction we could use right now.



My Spy is the kind of light distraction we could use right now.

My Spy won’t win any awards — hell, it couldn’t even buy itself a Golden Globe if it tried. It’s a comedy that practically screams Segal; Peter, not the pony-tailed variety. It’s a mosaic of all his previous films, with not necessarily the best but most unassuming parts of his filmography. I am talking about getting Smart, Anger Management, 50 First Dates, and the frat boy ’90s classic that started it all, Tommy Boy. My Spy rides the coattails of its likable lead for sketch-like comedy that lacks any proper depth or complexity, but that’s certainly what may be needed right now.

This action-comedy stars former WWE superstar and Guardians of the Galaxy veteran Dave Bautista as JJ, an adrenaline-fueled, double barrel-chested, powder keg of a secret agent who hasreal issue relating to people because he can’t read peoples’ faces when they emote. This makes him a liability in the field; yes, he can fight, shoot, or bomb his way out of any situation, but what he can’t do is talk his way out of a paper bag, which can cut missions short without reaching their goals.

So, his boss David (Ken Jeong) demotes him to “van” duty and the surveillance of a nurse named Kate (Fantasy Island’s Parisa Fitz-Henley) with an adorable nine-year-old daughter, Sophie (Big Little Lies‘s Cloe Coleman). Kate, reportedly, has connections to a dangerous fugitive named Marquez (Greg Bryk of Code 8). Then Sophie foils the government’s plans when she discovers JJ and his starry-eyed partner, Bobbi (The Last Man on Earth’s Kristen Schaal), spying on the next door.

Segal’s Get Smart-lite comedy has a charming nature about it; think Kindergarten Cop on, if this is possible, a smaller scale. There isn’t much depth to be had here, but the story of a child unable to make friends and a big bear with a heart of grenades gold who needs a little more human connection in life borders on adorable, if not sentimental. The two do have excellent chemistry back and forth, though the script might make you wonder why a parent would let her daughter hang around a total stranger; I guess a couple of nice muscles and a steady job will make any single-mother look for a silver lining.

Let’s face it: My Spy is almost exclusively contingent on the liability of Dave Bautista. The latter has one of the best reputations for being one of Hollywood’s nice guys. There is something oddly refreshing about Bautista’s unpolished acting style that’s endearing here. Yes, this is another vehicle for a muscle-bound action star with a peewee lead that doesn’t reinvent the action-comedy — it just happens to be a lot of fun, along with a healthy dose of supporting comic relief from Kristen Schaal. My Spy is the light distraction we could use right now. It’s just an unassuming one.

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