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Movie Review: The Spy Next Door (January, 2010)

Director: Brian Levant
Screenplay: Jonathan Berstein, decease James Greer, salve George Poirer
Release Date: January 15, 2010
Actors: Jackie Chan, Amber Valleta, George Lopez, Billy Ray Cyrus, Magnús Scheving

In the United States, Jackie Chan has always been known for two things: 1) He always performs his own stunts and 2) His movies are full of cheese. Cheesiness, that is. The Spy Next Door is not lacking in either.

If you walk into this movie expecting a witty comedy, you won’t find any. The Spy Next Door is a family movie, with lots of the interesting and unique stunts that Jackie Chan has been known for. Jackie Chan plays Bob Ho, the former CIA agent that has recently retired from his job because he wants a normal life with his next door neighbour and girlfriend Gillian (Amber Valleta) and to get closer with her three children. He takes on the task of taking care of Gillian’s children when she has to leave to take care of her dad. However, when one of Gillian’s children – Ian (Will Shadley) accidentally downloads a top secret formula from Bob’s computer, Bob finds Gillian’s family and himself in danger with his Russian enemy, Poldark (Magnús Scheving).

The movie is Disney, in full form. As I was leaving the theatre, I heard what I thought two older women complaining about how it was kiddie crap. Or something to that extent. No doubt, the humor, which is clearly slapstick and downright cheesy (I cannot picture Jackie Chan with Amber Valleta, for one) is not for everyone. You have to go in, expecting more cheese than usual in comedy.

Don’t expect any great acting here, and even the kids are not all that likeable. Funny, but not that likeable and not all that adorable (which I think is a good thing.) Jackie Chan is good ol’ Jackie, and his relationship with the kids on the set and his funny stunts and use of spy gadgets to control the kids are the best part of the film.

If you like Disney, and you have young kids, I would definitely recommend this film to take your family if you just have to see a new movie this weekend. Just be warned that it’s extra cheesy!

Needless to say, for everyone else, I would say, stay at home and wait for rental, or for on demand. I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure it’s worth it to spend the nine dollars to go to the theatre to see it.

So-so. 2 gadgets / 5 gadgets

Trailer via Youtube

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