In Brief: The last movie I screened before the pandemic is finally released.
My Spy was originally slated for theater release in March. It was the last movie I screened before the pandemic closed down theaters around the Northwest and the rest of the country. The studio finally gave up on the idea of a theater release and it is now being released as view on demand.
The film stars Dave Bautista as a JJ. He’s a CIA operative trying to catch a guy who set up a nuclear arms deal with a terrorist. Since he blew catching him in the first place, his boss orders JJ to spy on the wife of the man’s brother.
Her daughter Sophie quickly figures out she and her mom are being spied on and catches JJ and his partner in action. Blackmail follows. The pre-teen girl has been living abroad and wants JJ to do things with her, date her mom — oh — and teach her how to be a spy.
This kind of movie isn’t rocket science. No surprises. It’s one of those flicks where we’re forced to enter TV-like territory and watch a precocious kid be much smarter than the adults surrounding them.
So you march through acts one, two and three, and get a conclusion that unfolds just like you expect. So why bother?
No other reason. You’ll also like the chemistry between Bautista and his child co-star, Chloe Coleman (TVs Big Little Lies) but little else. Is Bautista and this chemistry enough? Not really.
Bautista has now done two roles where he’s the star. His path is similar to that of Arnold Schwarzenegger after he gained superstardom with the first two Terminator movies. Bautista only does big, burly, gruff, tough as nails guys with a hidden heart of gold.
Since I don’t know Bautista, I can’t comment on the hidden heart of gold but do wonder how hard can playing that character be when you actually are big, burly, gruff and tough as nails?
And like Schwarzenegger, Bautista isn’t a very good actor. But we don’t like him for his acting, do we? We like him for his character. It’s the same in every movie and we always know what we’re going to get.
Unfortunately, what you get in My Spy isn’t enough. Though it’s billed as a family comedy, what you won’t get with My Spy that you got with Stuber and with his work in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies is laughs that make you fall off of your chair.
I screened My Spy on March 10th. I’d like to say since it’s been over three months since I saw the movie that I’ve forgotten too much about it to give an honest review. Of course, that’s not true.
What is true is that My Spy is just plain forgettable.
Director: Peter Segal
Stars: Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Kristen Schaal, Parisa Fitz-Henley
I like Dave Bautista. He’s impossible not to like. This movie on the other hand? Is.
You can find My Spy on several streaming sources.
Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.