"The Spy Next Door": Movie Review (2010)

1/16/2010 Posted by Admin

Movie Review

"The Spy Next Door"

Directed by Brian Levant, written by Jonathan Bernstein, James Greer and Gregory Poirier, 91 minutes, rated PG.

By our guest blogger, Jeremy Wilkinson

“The Spy Next Door” opens with a montage of clips from previous Jackie Chan films while the song “Secret Agent Man” plays. That opening sums up the whole movie. “The Spy Next Door” brings nothing new to the table and Chan’s signature stunts have been toned down, but at least the film offers some cheesy moments of fun.

Chan stars as secret agent Bob Ho. He’s the kind of Hollywood secret agent who seems to effortlessly infiltrate the bad guys’ lair, throw some punches, and get them arrested. One man who is arrested is a villainous Russian known as Poldark (Magnús Scheving). After his arrest, Bob decides he wants to retire so he can live a normal life with his girlfriend, Gillian (Amber Valletta). She has three children, two of which hate Bob. Gillian’s grandfather becomes injured and she must fly out of state to see him. The children are left in Bob’s care and he hopes the four of them will bond. But when Poldark escapes custody, will Bob be drawn back into the spy life?

This story is not new in any way, really. Does it work? Yes and no. The characters are all likeable enough and the action scenes are good for a kid’s film. For adults, though, it’s a bit uneven. The humor is hit and miss. And while the action is fun enough, fans of Chan will notice he continues to slow down.

The movie is over-the-top in every way, including the acting. Some decisions the characters make leave you wondering what their logic was. A few plot holes also pop up here and there.

In the end, “The Spy Next Door” is a mildly enjoyable action film for the younger crowd. It breaks no barriers nor does it ever shine. Kids who have not seen Chan's best work will most likely enjoy the fight scenes even if the adults notice he’s past his action prime. Even though it was fun in places, it’s hard to give it a full recommendation.

Grade: C

View the trailer for "The Spy Next Door" below.  Thoughts?

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  1. Anonymous said...

    i like jackie chan movies..

  2. Misscrabbypants said...

    My little guy wants to see this. Me? Meh
    I think Chan should stick to what he does best, less talking more chop chop.
    Jackie is getting up there in age though so I can see why he is slowing down.