Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
YouTube review coming🔜
2020 list - Click HERE
Think of this as “what we all thought My Spy would be” because that’s exactly what it is. This film falls into every trap the genre has set for it, and there is absolutely nothing redeemable when it comes to the soundtrack specifically. It seems random now, but you will hear every song that has ever been played in a wacky kids movie (Playing with Fire, The Game plan, etc.) There is even an “I Want Candy” remix, and it is just lit. When two siblings discover their seemingly normal mom is a former thief in witness protection who has been forced to pull one last job, they team up to rescue her over the course of an action-packed night. It sounds like Spy Kids for the modern age, but it ends up feeling much more like Playing with Fire. We have every genre cliché show up here. There is a violin playing-while-fighting montage, that one dumb character who is completely terrified of everything the group gets themselves into, the scene where the kids drive a “super sweet” spy car for the first time, and so much more. It’s hard to think of anything new here.
The film is just a combination of scenes from other similar films, and most of those films bring something more to the table. The biggest issue is when we dive into the lives of these kids who get swept into this silly situation. It feels as if the writers are writing dialogue for kids when they have no idea how they talk to each other. Obviously, they can’t go overboard with the cursing, but the exchanges between the young characters are far too cringe-inducing for their own good. The idea behind only giving it a score of 4/10 comes when you look at what it will do for the target audience. Kids will grow up liking this (just as we did films like Spy Kids). Granted, Spy Kids spanks this movie, but do I say that because of my nostalgia? This will be nostalgic for young kids who watch and enjoy, and it’s an easy movie for families to watch (if the adults turn their brains off). A few moments worked well, and the cast of kids had nice chemistry. I’m also just a huge Joe Manganiello fan, and he’s hilariously into it. The Sleepover is exactly what most will expect it to be. It’s just far too conventional for its own good. It drops on Netflix this Friday, August 21st.
🔙The One and Only Ivan