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Title: The Spy Next Door

Country: U.S.A (Hollywood)

Year: 2010

Box Office: $31,671,116

Director: Brian Levant

Producer: Robert Simonds

Writer: Jonathan Bernstein, James Greer, Gregory Poirier

Starring: Jackie Chan, Amber Valletta, Billy Ray Cyrus

Genre: Action/Comedy/Family


  • The Spy Next Door-1
  • The Spy Next Door-2
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A Jackie Chan movie made for kids...

Unless I am a 5 year old kid roaming across the room with spy gadgets on my hand, I am not exactly qualified to criticise this movie. Jackie Chan has created a movie made especially for a target audience of 5 year-olds. In doing so, the adults or even teenagers will be left disappointed. Without forgetting the fact the Chan is fast approaching the age of a pensioner. A lack of action is not really a problem. Chan have always been a talented physical comedian and his ability to make someone laugh can be comparable to that of Buster Keaton. In his latest Asian venture, Little Big Soldier, Chan rarely fights, but it still manages to be one of Chan’s most enjoyable movies in the last decade. So why did Chan tone down so much in Hollywood? Most likely to reach the greatest possible market and cater for his kindergarten fans. However, in essence, he reduced his market share of his paying audience, young adults. I wouldn’t go to the extent as to say this movie is bad. It is a kind of movie where you get what you expect. At the end of the day, there are some moments of humour, but as a 23 year old, the jokes, the lame action can only go so far.

The movie is basically about a Chinese spy who is on loan to the CIA. Spy falls in love with next door neighbour and decides to retire from spy operations for good. Spy has to look after the lover’s kids. Bad guys go after the spy. Thus endangering the kids and the bad guys are Russians. Then it all goes to hell with a final fight between the good and the bad.

Jackie Chan is always likable and the film relies on his back and shoulder to carry the film to the ending outtakes. It is a shame that Chan will never be able to shine in a Hollywood role. As mentioned before, a lack of fighting does not matter, but Chan have yet to come across a script that is worthy of showcasing his ability as a physical comedy genius. It is unfortunate that his latest venture in Little Big Soldier will not get much exposure in the West.

All in all, The Spy Next Door is hardly a bad movie, but one that offers nothing to its already crowded and cliché genre. While it may seem to be fun for a 5 year old, the same cannot be said for people who are coming of age. Sometimes, you got to remember that parents watch these kinds of movies with their kids too. If the movie causes boredom for the adults, they might not take their offspring to the next Jackie Chan movie. Don’t say it isn’t possible to appeal to both young and old. Think Avatar, Finding Nemo, How to train a Dragon are all movies that are successful in relating to the young and old. In essence, the box office receipts of just under US$30 million, just goes to show that the parents went shopping while the show was going on...(Neo 2010)

I rate it 3/10

>> Comment on this movie at the HK Neo Reviews Forum

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