The Spy Next Door

30 Mar

Title: The Spy Next Door
Year: 2010
Director: Brian Levant
Writer: Jonathan Bernstein, James Greer and Gregory Poirier
Starring: Jackie Chan, Amber Valletta, Billy Ray Cyrus, George Lopez
MPAA Rating: PG, Sequences of action violence and some mild rude humor
Runtime: 94 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 5.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 12%

At the time I’m writing this, on March 29th at about 10 p.m., I have seen 42 films with a 2010 release date, and this one, The Spy Next Door, is, by a rather wide margin, the most horrible out of them all. Jackie Chan is an aging man, we know that, but the guy was cool years ago, so he could probably still carry a kiddie film like this with his stunts and charm, I don’t necessarily mean he could carry it really greatly, but he could carry it decently enough, but again, he’s an aging man, so the stunts aren’t as awesome as they were, and the script for this film, which somehow took three guys to write, is completely idiotic, so no chance of that charm coming through, as a result, the film fails miserably.

Mr. Chan plays a spy working for China and the CIA who falls for an American widow with three kids, he retires to be with them, the widow’s father turns ill so she has to leave for a while and he is left to watch over the kids, but then, logically, the Russian mob comes to town and Jackie and the three kids are being chased by baddies in fuckin’ malls. Not even kidding.

The film is the very definition of the word ‘predictable’, a read at that plot summary I just gave you and you won’t really need to go see the actual film because that’s really all there is to it, you can fill in the blanks quite easily if you’ve seen a handful of other similarly-themed kiddie films: the kids learn how to kick ass, the girl baddie dresses in black leather, three kids and a chinese man can out-do the Russian mob and so on and so forth.

I guess some kids will like this one, but for the sake of future generations I hope that doesn’t necessarily apply to all kids who see it, I mean, Jackie Chan is on the wrong side of 50, watching his films used to be fun if only because you knew the guy actually did his own stunts, now it’s all CGI and whatnot, he does nothing, and even the fights are badly choreographed. Seriously, just do yourselves a favor and don’t give this one even the slightest of chances, it’s a disaster of a film.

Grade: D-


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