My Spy Movie Review

My Spy - Image from Amazon Studios

My Spy released on Amazon Prime today and we were pretty excited in my house to see this one.  It was originally set for a theatrical release, but was sold to Amazon shortly have COVID-19 shut down the world for a release to streaming.  Even more exciting. . .it's free for Amazon Prime members.  SCORE!!! My boys love spy films with action and kids who know how to take charge.  The trailer for My Spy promised all of the above, but would it live up to it's potential?  

My Spy Movie Review

Alright, let's dive into My Spy.  First off, my 8 year old LOVED this movie.  It has action, explosions, and humor.  There's some humor for adults too with songs and movie references (like Notting Hill in the first scene) that made me giggle too.  In the movie, we meet JJ, a CIA spy struggling with his new role after leaving the military.  He gets assigned to a surveillance job after things didn't go so well on his last mission.  His job is to watch Chloe and her mom to see if they come into contact with her less-than-upstanding uncle.  Chloe is nobody's fool though and quickly discovers JJ spying on her.  With a videotape of him that could blow his cover for good as leverage, she convinces him to teach her how to become a spy herself.  

Image from Amazon Prime

Dave Bautista is perfectly cast as JJ.  He delivers a performance that is heartfelt and funny.  Between the bacon in his pocket, his pet goldfish Blueberry, and his less-than-covert spy tactics, he's easy to love.  And it's clear how much he cares about Sophie  as throughout the film he continues to go above and beyond for her - putting his career, and quite possibly his life - on the line.  But to me the real star of the show is Chloe Coleman.  

Coleman plays 9-year old Sophie who is trying to adjust to life in a new school - never an easy task for kids.  Sophie struggles fitting in with her peers and deals with some mean girl drama.  This is what leads to her harnessing the spy power of JJ to become more confident and stand up to her peers.  She's witty, sarcastic, believable, and genuine - another perfect casting choice.  

And I guess I can't finish this without mentioning Ken Jeong.  It's not often that we think of him as a star in a kid's movie (at least my brain almost always goes to Ken Jeong from The Hangover when I think of him).  While his part is minor in the grand scheme of things, it was fun to see him on screen with his usual dry humor.

Want to see more with Chloe Coleman? Check out this interview my friend Kami did with her! 

In the age of straight to digital release, this is a really solid film - especially considering Amazon Prime members can access if for free with their subscription.  I have a feeling we'll be watching this again!

Is My Spy Kid Friendly?

Overall, this is clearly a movie made for kids, but there are a few things for parents to be aware of before deciding if they want their kids to watch it.  Within the first 20 minutes of the movie there is violence and some language.  "A--" is used several times throughout the movie as his "da--," "bit--," "he--," and "sh--."  The language isn't overbearingly repetitive, but it is notable.  The violence in the movie is mostly explosions and some shooting guns - nothing blood, guts, and gore, but it may be objectionable to some parents.  There are also references to violence during the film.  For example, when Sophie first catches JJ spying on her and her mom, he comes makes the following statement, "Kill her. Make it look like an accident.  Maybe the stairs."

The movie carries a PG-13 rating because of the violence and language which is surprising when it has so much kid appeal.  I have let my boys watch some of the Marvel movies that carry PG-13 ratings too and would say this level was less intense than many of those films - maybe similar to Spiderman Far From Home as a comparison on judging what's appropriate.

Looking for a more kid appropriate spy movie choice?  Check out my thoughts on Disney's Artemis Fowl.

About My Spy (from Amazon Prime)

My Spy follow JJ, a hardened CIA operative (Dave Bautista), who has been demoted and finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year old girl named Sophie (Chloe Coleman) after he is sent undercover to surveil her family.  In exchange for not blowing JJ's cover, Sophie uses her charm and wit to convince him to spend time with her and teach her to be a spy.

Director: Peter Segal
Starring: Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Ken Jeong

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