An idea that sounds awful on paper – tough government spy teams up with a nine-year-old girl – turns out to be far more enjoyable than you’d expect in this action comedy starring WWE and Guardians Of The Galaxy star Dave Bautista.
He’s CIA agent JJ who, after bungling a mission by shooting most of the suspects (in a pretty grown up action sequence for a ‘family’ movie), gets given a last-chance assignment to watch over a woman named Kate (Fitz-Henley) with links to the baddie he was supposed to catch.
Moving into her apartment building with fellow agent Bobbi (the hilarious Schaal), JJ’s job is to observe, but instead he ends up accidentally bonding with her manipulative daughter Sophie (Coleman). Which would be okay – if slightly weird – if the bad guys weren’t on their way.
While this shares some similarities with Kindergarten Cop (and lesser tough-guy/cute-kids movies like Playing With Fire), My Spy benefits from an enjoyably comic central performance from Bautista and especially from Coleman’s skilled turn as the young girl who soon wraps him around her little finger. In so many movies like this, it is an irritating child actor that spoils everything, but Coleman is incredibly likeable and possesses some great comic timing, too.
There’s nothing much new about My Spy – in fact, there are a few knowing nods to movies they have ‘borrowed’ from, including Raiders Of The Lost Ark – and the tone is a little uneven, going from grown up action movie to kiddie buddy comedy and back again, but ultimately it’s a cute, funny and well-played action movie for families with older kids.
Is My Spy suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Parents should note that this is a 12A certificate in the UK and is not aimed at very young children, it is probably most suitable for those over age 10.
The opening action sequence does include explosions, and many bad guys being shot but little injury is shown. There are also later fist fights and a knife attack but again, little injury detail is shown.
One scene does have JJ being kicked in the balls, and there are subsequent jokes about that.
Sophie is put in danger at one point, which may upset younger viewers.
There is also quite a lot of bad language.
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