Friday, September 10, 2010

The Spy Next Door Review



The Spy Next Door Review

Jackie Chan in another comedy, when will i see him return to form? We'll in any case at the current time we have The Spy Next Door, a family action/comedy very blatantly aimed at the kids. Directed by Brian Levant (Are We There Yet?) I knew what to expect from this one but i still went in open minded.

Jackie Chan (Kung Fu Panda) plays Bob Ho a spy who's quitting the business after one last mission in hopes of setting up a marriage with his girlfriend and neighbor Gillian; played by Amber Valletta (Gamer). He offers the babysit Gillian's three kids while she goes away for a couple days and unfortunately a loose end from his last mission catches up with him.

The plot isn't really here at all but being a film aimed at kids what can you ask for. But there is that enjoyable family aspect to it, the family issues that are all predictable and put in for subtle messages to the young ones are annoying yet someone relaxing.

The really annoying aspect of The Spy Next Door comes in the characters, mostly the bad guys. Magnus Scheving (TV's Lazytown) and Katherine Boecher (The Chronicles of Holly-Weird) both play the stereotypical Russian Bad guys; with toned down motives for the target audience. Boasting horrible one liners and stupid accents, each scene with these two i dreaded and wish i could have avoided. This is not saying the rest of the cast is all that great either. Chan is, well Chan in his spy persona but when he's pretending to be the pen's salesmen next door he puts forth some of the worst acting in his recent years. Valletta plays the mum well but this isn't much of a compliment as i think i could play a good mum in a film even as a male. The three children rate in the following of ratings, going from oldest to youngest; annoying, mildly annoying and cute. The other two big names in the film but with small roles are Billy Ray Cyrus (TV's Hannah Montana) and George Lopez (Beverly Hills Chihuahua) are passable at best.

The Spy Next Door opens with a cool opening scene but drop after them credits finish rolling and i can't remember even hearing anything of a soundtrack. The acting is all over the show yet i found myself enjoying this for what it's trying to be and if shown to the right person at the right age this could be a lot of fun.

Acting: 4.5
Writing: 5.0
Direction: 5.0
Production: 4.0

Overall: 5.0

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