The Spy Next Door a Welcomed Visitor

The Spy Next DoorJackie Chan just has this unmistakable likeability factor.  He’s kind of like the Chicago Cubs of actors.  I mean, who out there really hates the Cubs?  Even though they haven’t won a Series since Christ was a mess cook, people still adore the team.  It’s the same with Chan, who, even after making an abysmal film like Rush Hour 3, still has his followers.  As we ease our way into the new year, the masterful martial artist has released his latest film, The Spy Next Door.  

Billy Ray Cyrus co-stars along with the comedic likes of George Lopez, and love interest Gillian, who is played by Amber Valletta.  Chan assumes the role of Chinese operative and CIA participant, Bob Ho.  He is the best agent on the team and works his magic to apprehend the highly sought after Ruskie bad guy, Poldark (Magnus Scheving); all this while maintaining the persona of a pen salesman to the single mom next door, Gillian.  While their dating life is seemingly sappy and fine, Gillian’s three kids are not so fond of the apparently boring, sweater vest-donning guy courting their mom.  Little do they know his true occupation.

This movie is more geared towards kids than anything, and though there are moments where a pistol or two makes an appearance and someone gets a bloody nose, it is appropriate for them to enjoy with mom or dad around.  Even Billy Ray Cyrus offers a few one-liners that the adults can appreciate.  Overall, The Spy Next Door is a cutesy action comedy that is expectedly over the top while Chan executes his lightning-quick kicks and chops with bruising accuracy as he tries to befall one mafia crook after another. 

The story offers a bit of a surprise, but it’s nothing overly shocking and does find a home in the film’s flow.  The actors that played the three kids do a decent enough job in their roles though I had a lot of trouble understanding what the youngest was saying at times.  Jackie Chan of course is his usual self, which isn’t really a bad thing.  Sure you know what to expect from the guy so no surprise there, but you also know what to expect from the guy.  In other words, there’s no ground-breaking performance but if you enjoy his work, chances are you’ll enjoy his performance here along with his witty array of spy gadgetry. 

If you are a Chan fan or have young children, do them a favor and head out for a shallow but fun ride in The Spy Next Door


 The Spy Next Door Theatrical Poster




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