Film Fridays: “The Spy Next Door” Review

I’m a huge fan of the international martial artist-turned actor Jackie Chan. He comes across as a goof ball because he brings comedy into his routines. In many of his fight scenes, you can’t help but be in awe at his acrobatics and stunts, but laugh at the same time. I usually come home entertained.

What I Expected

I thought this movie would be similar to “The Pacifier” and I LOVED that movie because of the chemistry between the kids and Vin Diesel. But of course, it’s a family movie, and I’m sure most of the humor is for kids.

What It’s About

Chinese spy Bobby Ho (Chan) on loan to the CIA falls in love with his next door neighbor Gillian (Amber Valleta), a single mom and retires so he could live a normal life. However, her kids don’t get along with him. And to add to his problems, his espionage past comes back.

You’ll Like

The antics–yep, the same ones that Jackie Chan is famous for. However, there wasn’t anything new fighting-wise. We’ve seen all the moves that Jackie Chan has to offer, so it just seemed sort of recycled. Still funny though.

The kids–you’ll fall in love with them, especially the youngest. They make the movie, especially because of their relationship before and after getting to know Chan’s character.

Asian Male White Female (AMWF) Relationship–yes, score for the Asian male! You never see these kinds of relationships on the silver screen.

Jackie Chan singing–not many people know that he’s a trained opera singer.

You’ll Dislike

The predictability–I don’t think I need to explain this further.

George Lopez and Billy Rae Cyrus–I didn’t know they were going to be in this movie, so it was a complete surprise for me. But they aren’t believable in their roles.

The Villains–yes, I know it’s a kids movie, so I didn’t expect much villainy. But could they please work on their accents?

Rating

I didn’t fall in love with this movie as I did with “The Pacifier” or other movies where a tough guy plays a nanny-type role (“The Kindergarten Cop”). Yes, it was funny. But Chan’s supporting cast (Lopez, Cyrus) is just cheesy. They were probably casted because kids love them and parents could bear with them. Is it worse than Chan’s “The Tuxedo?” It’s definitely close to it. This is the kind of movie you need to watch with your kids, or if you’re simply a Chan fan, don’t shell out the $10–rent the DVD. I give it a 1.5 out 5 stars.

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