The Spy Next Door
- Director:Brian Levant
- Cast:Jackie Chan, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lucas Till, Amber Valletta
- Release Date:April 01, 2010
- Running time:94 minutes
- Film Worth:$5.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Despite impressive fight scenes, this is tedious, formulaic kids’ entertainment which will struggle to keep parents interested
Action star Jackie Chan tackles his toughest foe yet - predictable kids' entertainment - in The Spy Next Door. Jackie stars as Bob, a recently retired CIA spy who starts up a relationship with his attractive neighbour, Gillian (Amber Valletta). She believes that Bob is a pen salesman, and her three children are not too pleased with her choice of "boring" boyfriend. They are even more horrified when Gillian leaves them in Bob's care while she visits her sick father. There's disaster as Bob attempts to cook, shop and give advice. But little Farren, Ian and Nora soon discover that there is more to Bob than they realise, when they get mixed up in a plot to control the world's oil supply, and have to run for their lives from the evil Russian mobsters who want to get them out of the way.
There are many problems with the predictable plot: it's hard to buy the idea that Bob is a super spy when he isn't able to perform a simple task like cooking porridge; the relationship between Gillian and Bob is not believable; and neither is why the "evil" Russians are determined to kill the children, apparently because Ian accidentally downloaded a file onto his iPod which he can't even open.
But as with any Jackie Chan film, the fight scenes are impressive - he can turn any household object into a lethal weapon (though it is admittedly apparent that at 55-years-old, Jackie now needs the help of CGI to create those stunts). The customary gag reel provides the most laughs, these days featuring less "stunts gone bad" and more "Jackie says the wrong word in English."
The Spy Next Door is lightweight, paint-by-numbers kids' entertainment. The slapstick comedy will amuse a young audience, but their parents will find it tedious.