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‘My Spy’ makes children laugh

Sean I. Mills
Staff writer
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Posted 7/5/20

Anyone looking for a new sort of kids movie to show the young ones should have a good amount of fun with the new Dave Bautista vehicle “My Spy”, which recently got relegated to streaming. “My …

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‘My Spy’ makes children laugh

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Anyone looking for a new sort of kids movie to show the young ones should have a good amount of fun with the new Dave Bautista vehicle “My Spy”, which recently got relegated to streaming.

“My Spy” is not a particularly good movie, but it sets out to accomplish exactly what it wants to accomplish: which is to put Bautista into silly situations to make children laugh. It’s a forgettable, largely by-the-numbers film that’s been done to death a million times before — but there’s enough charm, and enough focus on entertaining children, that it’s worth a watch.

It’s streaming on Amazon Prime, so if you’re already paying for that, it won’t cost anything to use “My Spy” for family movie night.

Bautista plays JJ, a former Special Forces killing machine who now works in intelligence for the CIA, but he’s not very good at the subtle spy stuff. He gets assigned one last job to prove he can cut it as a spy: surveillance on a young kid and her single mother who may or may not become the targets of an international arms dealer.

The kid, played by Chloe Coleman, is that special sort of movie kid that’s so smart she immediately figures out that JJ is a spy and then blackmails him into taking her ice skating and teaching her spycraft. And eventually, the kid decides to set up JJ with her lonely mom.

The unique thing about “My Spy” is that this is clearly a kids movie, but it’s produced in such a way to make it seem like any other action movie.

Despite the explosions, action and romantic comedy storyline, this movie is all about childhood wish fulfillment. The 9-year-old girl is so clever that she uses her cell phone to one-up the CIA, and they have to do what she says. Kids will love that. And she’s a natural at learning how to be a spy. And wouldn’t it be great if you could set up your mom with a handsome, muscular, really cool secret agent?

There’s not too much for parents to dig into with “My Spy”. The jokes are as simplistic as possible, so that all the kids watching will understand. The romance storyline is as simple as possible. The action is as simple as possible. “My Spy” is a really simple movie.

Honestly, “My Spy” feels like a resume-building movie for the actors. Bautista is a rising star after becoming one of the breakout characters in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, so it makes sense that he would want to do a film that appeals to children and families. And the little girl, Chloe Coleman, is doing so much work as a child actor that I have to question what her parents are like. Clearly both Bautista and Coleman benefit from having a feature film on their Hollywood resume, even if it’s a predictable bit of nothing like “My Spy”.

“My Spy” is good enough to be worth a watch if you’re already subscribed to Amazon Prime. Otherwise, it’s a pretty empty movie that you’ll forget about even before you finish reading this review.

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