15 years after Vin Diesel’s The Pacifier mixed spy work with babysitting duties, My Spy, at first glance, may look like something similar. A big tough guy that looks completely out of place when put into a situation where he has to deal with children, but this one is a little bit different.
CIA agent JJ (Dave Bautista) has no intention on getting involved, he’s just there to set up the surveillance operation on the family he’s been sent to observe and to keep an eye on the cameras with his quirky partner Bobbi (Kristen Schaal). But, of course, that would be too easy. When 9 year old Sophie (Chloe Coleman) discovers that her family is being spied on, she promises to keep it a secret, on one condition. If JJ teaches her how to be a spy. But when the family is threatened, JJ is forced back into action, and Sophie’s skills are put to the test.
After making the move from WWE to acting, Dave Bautista has developed a little bit of a habit of being type cast as the big angry character. Here, he plays JJ, a CIA agent moved from active duty to surveillance and left rather irritated by the change of pace. Despite his slight anger issues, JJ is an overall likable character and has a wonderful development throughout the film. We see him change from the work obsessed agent to something softer, all whilst trying to believe that he isn’t wrapped around Sophie’s little finger.
Young star Chloe Coleman plays the role of Sophie, and this character is a little firecracker. She knows what she wants and knows exactly how to get it, especially when it comes to getting JJ to teach her the tools of the spy trade. You can’t help but really like the character of Sophie as she has her struggles with school and only really finds herself when paired up with JJ. At only eleven years old, Coleman is definitely a talent to watch out for in the future.
As Sophie’s single mother Kate, Parisa Fitz-Henley creates a wonderfully believable character, torn between her work and spending time with her daughter. Comedy comes in many forms in this movie, with a number of performers flexing their comedy muscles, including Kristen Schaal as Bobbi, an agent pulled from the office work to go onto to surveillance with JJ. She doesn’t really know what she is doing, but boy is she eager to learn. As Carlos and Todd, Devere Rogers and Noah Danby also offer some brilliantly funny moments mixed in with the action.
This film provides a great mix of spy action and family fun, explosions one minute and career day the next. Perhaps one to watch with older children, you would be hard pressed not to find something for everyone in this one. It’s not often that my family can find a film that we all laugh at, but My Spy proved a hit.