The Spy Next Door stars Jackie Chan as Bob Ho, a top spy at the CIA who decides to put an end to his espionage career and settle down with his girlfriend Gillian (Valletta). She happens to also be his next-door neighbour, and Bob must gain the approval of her three young kids for the relationship to work. Gillian is suddenly forced to leave town on a work assignment and can’t find a babysitter to watch over her kids on such short notice. Seeing this as an opportunity to bond with the kids, Bob volunteers as their temporary babysitter. But when one of the children accidentally downloads a top-secret formula wanted by Russian terrorists, things take a turn for the worst, as Bob has to fight off a dangerous enemy while babysitting.

As a family film, The Spy Next Door's slapstick comedy comes exclusively from the inevetable conflict of Chan being both a spy and a babysitter. Hollywood has produced many similar projects over the years, including Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop and Vin Diesel in The Pacifier. While it hasn't proven to be a particularly successful formula, it’s one that is easily reworked.

Chan puts in his typical performance; charming and likeable. Valletta’s character contributes little to the story itself, while Cyrus’s and Lopez’s performances are forgettable at best. The children are also presented with little depth, and ultimately come across as bratty and spoilt. At times, you'll wonder if Valletta’s character is really worth Chan enduring all of this.

Given that it’s a family film, the action scenes obviously had to be taken down a notch. While they are fairly creative and entertaining, it's obvious that this is Chan's weakest work compared to his other films where he is able to do what he does best

The Spy Next Door is a film for kids and kids alone. While its makers tout it as a family film, adults may struggle to find it entertaining. There is nothing fresh or new about this film, and its only selling point seems to be Jackie Chan. So if you're looking to occupy your kids or younger siblings, The Spy Next Door is your best option in cinemas.