'My Spy': Dave Bautista is saving the world with a pint-sized rocket in this forgettable comedy-action feature
'My Spy' unfortunately won't do much for Bautista's career, but if you've watched 'The Pacifier' or 'Kindergarten Cop', then give this one a one-time view
Dave Bautista has had a fair run in Hollywood. The beefy WWE star has had some roles in blockbuster films and now he's back as a central character in 'My Spy'. Within the first 15 minutes, the audience can know where this one's going. Vin Diesel's 'Pacifier' and Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Kindergarten Cop' (And yes, Dolph Lundgren in the sequel, we know) are those movies that see the pairing of two contrasting characters and the end result is a thigh-slapping funny feature that's aww-inducing at the same time. But, it's a dampener.
Joining that roster is Bautista with 'My Spy'. JJ is a struggling CIA agent after having an impeccable and decorated Army Ranger career. He's got the lines, the swagger, and is walking Action Man, but is definitely not someone with a great spy game. Ken Jeong as David Kim, his boss clearly outlines that JJ has almost negligible emotional intelligence and that's where the problem is.
Despite what JJ thinks is a win in his previous mission where he pummels the s**t out of baddies and drives away crooning to Britney's 'Hit me, baby, one more time', the mission is a full-tilt failure and he gets relegated to surveillance duty with fan-girl partner Bobb (Kristen Schaal), a hacker. It isn't surprising as he botches that assignment of observing a suspect's niece and mother. To make matters even horrendous, that mission is foiled by nine-year-old Sophie (Chloe Coleman).
'My Spy' takes the familiar route from there as Sophie blackmails the agent to becoming her friend. Skating rink, ice cream...you know the drill. It shouldn't come as a surprise when the kid talks animatedly about being a secret agent herself over other professions and she assumes all of JJ's tactics have already been done in movies before. Quite simply, the film borders between action-comedy and a parody, but a flimsy script lets it down despite some earnest cast performances.
That's not to say 'My Spy' is a complete dud. There are a bunch of scenes that evoke a few laughs. Bautista as JJ has trouble fitting in with normal people and a wave with a rather surprising smile is the best he could so when he gets a chance to go on a date. The action-movie references are okay-ish and his romance with Sophie's mother, Kate (Parisa Fitz-Henley), does the job of filling in the screen space. Viewers will feel for Bobbi as she's nothing but the over-enthusiastic agent who gets nowhere.
The antagonist, Sophie's uncle (Greg Bryk), is still searching for plans for his nuclear device and this plotline gets enormous screentime only in the final act. A club that action with a bunch of emotions and 'My Spy' does a ta-dah! which, safe is to say is still a mediocre attempt in making a kiddy action film. Nothing against Bautista here as he does a commendable job on-screen. He's established himself as one of the most-improved actors over the years, especially with his stints as Drax in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and the sequel.
'My Spy' unfortunately won't do much for Bautista's career, but if kid comedies are still your thing, then this feature can be watched this Friday, June 26, on Amazon Prime.