Starring: Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Kristen Schaal
Director: Peter Segal
Running Time: 99 mins
My Spy is an American film about a CIA agent who, while on surveillance in a suburban Chicago neighbourhood, is uncovered by a nine year-old girl, who asks him to train her as a spy, or else she’ll expose his identity.
For what looks on the surface like a fairly fluffy, family-friendly action-comedy, My Spy is a really strange film. Straddling a line between family-friendly fun and something a little more adult, it’s a difficult film to fully get to grips with, although it’s full of great laughs that make it a hugely enjoyable watch throughout.
In all honesty, there’s nothing too racy here that would be totally inappropriate for kids, but it’s the mix of different styles of humour that makes the film such a strange watch at times. At times, it’s very light and simplistic – as in any kids’ movie – and at others there’s foul language, surprisingly adult jokes and more being thrown around.
And this isn’t the same as films like Shrek, which throw in adult jokes that go over kids’ heads. Those adult jokes – in tandem with much lighter humour – are front and centre in this film, and it makes for a really strange, but sometimes surprisingly refreshing mix.
What’s more, that blend between family-friendly humour and more adult stuff fits the film’s premise very neatly, often playing into some of the biggest laughs throughout as we see Dave Bautista’s CIA agent spar with a precocious nine year-old in Chloe Coleman.
That on-screen relationship is without a doubt the highlight of the whole film. Bautista plays up his tough guy persona along with some great charisma, while Coleman holds her own in every scene alongside somebody three times her height.
Bolstered by entertaining supporting performances from Kristen Schaal and Parisa Fitz-Henley, the film is full of energy wherever you look, and that plays in hugely to its overall fun factor.
Its story may be a little fluffy, and at times its twists a little generic, but My Spy is a huge surprise throughout, delighting with great on-screen charisma, a bizarre yet somehow effective blend of family-friendly and adult humour, and entertaining action from beginning to end. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.5 overall.