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The Spy Next Door

The Spy Next Door: Another Unoriginal Comedy from Chan

  • Amber VallettaBilly Ray Cyrus...
  • Action & AdventureComedy...
  • Brian Levant
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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The Spy Next Door: Another Unoriginal Comedy from Chan

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.

Like This? Try

Kindergarten Cop, The Pacifier, Rob-B-Hood    

360 Tip

The opening montage is made up of several of Jackie Chan's other spy films.

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