My Spy: Action Comedy Is Mediocre At Best

Sophie (Chloe Coleman) and Jason "JJ" Jones (Dave Bautista) in My Spy. Courtesy of Amazon/STX

My Spy, the action comedy starring Dave Bautista, is set to launch on Amazon Prime Video after bypassing theaters because of the pandemic.

After a few releases delays, the film is finally getting released.  If you’re looking forward to catching this on the big screen, I’m sorry to say that this won’t be happening.  Maybe it’s for the best because the spy comedy is a mediocre installment to the genre.  I was fortunate enough to see this on the big screen in March at a press screening.  Little did I realize at the time that it would be the last film I’d see on the big screen for several months.

Jason “JJ” Jones (Dave Bautista) is a CIA operative who ends up in Chicago after a Chernobyl mission goes wrong.  Much to his dismay, the CIA orders JJ and tech op Bobbi (Kristen Schaal) to set up surveillance on Kate (Parisa Fitz-Henley) and her daughter, Sophie (Chloe Coleman).  This is because Kate was married to Dave Marquez, the brother of Victor Marquez. Little does JJ realize that Sophie will not only discover the hidden cameras but the location of who is spying on her family.  When Sophie confronts JJ, he agrees to not only spend time with her but teach her how to be a spy.  It’s not ideal but it’s the best way to avoid getting his cover blown.

The trick comes in figuring out how to do his job while also striking up a relationship with Sophie’s mom.  It’s one thing for the film to be an action comedy.  The idea of a kid trying to outsmart an older person is a great idea in theory.  One thing leads to another and soon, JJ finds himself going out with Sophie’s mom.  But it is it an undercover relationship or one with real feelings?

While the film is being marketed as a action comedy, it’s more than just that.  It’s a film about relationships.  There’s just a bit of action going on around the relationship.  And maybe a Notting Hill reference or two (“I’m just a guy asking another guy not to shoot me.”).  But in spite of it all, it just doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre.

Listen, I love that the film is set in Chicago.  There’s some nice skyline views and you can definitely see that some shots took place along Museum Campus.  Spotlighting Chicago alone does not make a film.  I mean, there is a solid cast here and they do their best to elevate the material.  There are some cute moments–don’t get me wrong–but it isn’t enough to take the film to the next level.  Watching the film with an audience was fine the first time around but it didn’t really hold up during the second time around.

STX was wise to give the film to Amazon.  Would it make a lot of money at the box office?  I don’t know.  But it’s better to release the film on streaming rather than deal with the uncertainty of whether or not the studio could make their money back at the box office.

My Spy is watchable but it’s still a mediocre movie.

DIRECTOR:  Peter Segal
SCREENWRITER:  Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber
CAST:  Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Kristen Schaal, Parisa Fitz-Henley, and Ken Jeong

Amazon releases My Spy on June 26, 2020. Grade: 3/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.