Review: The Spy Next Door


Directed by Brian Levant
Starring Jackie Chan, Amber Valletta, Billy Ray Cyrus and
George Lopez

The newest in a long line of tough-guy-saddled-with-kids family comedies – think The Pacifier, The Game Plan and the Hulk Hogan classic, Mr. Nanny – The Spy Next Door opens today in theatres across the country. Bob Ho (Chan), the world’s greatest superspy, is all set to retire after one last mission – rescuing the world’s oil supply from a group of Russian terrorists. Hoping to transition smoothly into a life of domestic bliss with his girlfriend Gillian (Valletta) and her three kids, Bob offers to babysit while Gillian visits a sick relative. Mayhem ensues, and when the kids accidentally download the Russians’ top-secret formula, Bob is forced back into the kung-fu filled world of espionage to protect his new family.

The Spy Next Door is cheesy in all the ways you’d assume, but what separates it from the rest of its abysmal ilk is that Jackie Chan is genuinely charming. The film is fun right down to the potbelly pig the kids keep as a pet, and any violence is closer to the Three Stooges’ than Ong Bak and definitely child appropriate. Don’t expect it to be as moving as Wall-E or Up, but there are some surprisingly touching moments. And just try not to root for Jackie.

— Evan Rosser