With current events feeling so grave, 100 minutes of laughs are surely welcome. Fortunately, My Spy is up to providing some much-needed escape.
Director Peter Segal has experience making spy thriller comedies with 2008’s Get Smart. So he, along with screenwriters Erich and Jon Hoeber (The Meg), know how to spoof the genre and check off all of the boxes for fans of action and espionage.
Location title graphics typed out on screen? Yep. International terrorist scheme? Definitely. Codes for a nuclear weapon to execute that plan? Of course. Sprinkle in car chases, double-crosses and just the right amount of explosive action to get it all right.
But this is ultimately a heartwarming comedy, and My Spy wouldn’t be nearly as fun without Dave Bautista carrying the entire venture on his formidably muscled shoulders. Any doubters who dismissed Bautista as another pro wrestler trying to be a movie star like Dwayne Johnson were likely silenced by the comic timing he showed in the Guardians of the Galaxy films.
Bautista has continued to use that talent for deadpan humor in comedies like Stuber, and with My Spy, he’s taking the step to family-friendly action star, which elevated the careers of Johnson, Vin Diesel and John Cena. (Bautista is also a producer here, showing he knows this is the right move, balanced with his roles in upcoming spectacles such as Dune, Army of the Dead and a third Guardians movie.)
Co-star Chloe Coleman (HBO’s “Big Little Lies”) gives a suitably cute performance as the 9-year-old kid Bautista’s CIA operative is assigned to watch. And it’s believable that her mother (Parisa Fitz-Henley, Fantasy Island) is intrigued by Bautista’s sensitive lunkhead. Kristin Schaal (HBO‘s “Flight of the Conchords”) has a thankless role as his tech sidekick, but thankfully gets a breakout moment.
My Spy is utterly predictable, but resist the urge to turn away. This movie completes its mission thanks to two very appealing stars.
Available to stream via Amazon Prime Video