The tough guy-cute kid combo has been done so many times over the years, and the problem with every film since “Kindergarten Cop” in that tradition is unfortunately the predictable formula. “My Spy” manages to sidestep much of that predictability with a likeable cast and a well-done production.
Dave Bautista stars a JJ, a CIA Agent that blows up everything he finds and his bosses don’t care for his style very much. As punishment for his latest mission gone bad, he’s stuck pulling surveillance on a family who’s central in a superweapon plot. After getting caught on the job by 9 year old Sophie, they cut a deal where he’ll teach her everything he knows in exchange for her silence.
And the mutually rewarding, father figure relationship begins.
Bautista here is very watchable as he continues to take the Arnold Schwarzenagger/Dwayne Johnson path. The real fun here comes from supporting players, Kristen Schaal and Ken Jeong, who play JJs partner and boss respectively and are regular scene stealers throughout the film. Young Chloe Coleman is also strong here.
The problem here is that formula we were talking about earlier. You’ll see everything coming from a mile away and that really holds “My Spy” back. Director Peter Segal tries to keep our eye rolling to a minimum but it doesn’t always work.
Still, as a family outing, “My Spy” does produce enough smiles and mild laughs. That’s what it’s supposed to do. And in that regard, it succeeds. Mostly.
Run Time: 1 hour 41 minutes