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|Index||64 reviews in total|
44 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
Harmless Fun!!, 4 February 2010
Author: Son_Of_Hercules from United States
If you're looking for a decent, fun little movie you can watch with
your family in a relatively painless fashion then you've come to the
For some reason many action stars have supplemented their income by appearing in movies with kids. Maybe they are trying to widen their appeal from the hardcore action audience to the family friendly scene. Maybe they're getting too old to keep up with the pace of a full-on action movie. Maybe they have to pay alimony to 4 or 5 ex-wives. I don't know why they do it, but it's almost becoming mandatory for these guys to take on a kid or three as a side-kick and attempt to blend action and family fare.
And these attempts almost always suck.
Does anyone honestly want to see Vin Diesel try to relate to kids? Or Chuck Norris, the Rock or God help us, Burt Reynolds relate to kids? No way. Don't even start with me about Hulk Hogan. During Santa with Muscles I was terrified that he might not see a few of the kids and accidentally step on them. Suffice to say, these movies might help a star's sagging income, but they're usually a mediocre compromise between two often disparate genres at best.
This one is a little better. It's still "action-light" but I think it works because of the star, Jackie Chan. His character seems like a genuinely nice guy who wants to get along with the mandatory bratty kids. Vin, Hulk, Chuck, Burt and the rest, these guys play characters that you know would much rather be killing, crushing or sleeping with the enemy. Chan doesn't have that problem because of the types of characters he often plays. His lighter presence matches up with the tone of the movie and makes it seem ....hmm...not as weird and patently unbelievable and maybe even patronizing as other movies of this kind.
Basically Jackie plays Bob Ho, a Chinese secret agent on loan to the CIA. He retires so he can marry Gillian, a divorced single mom who is looking for someone reliable. Her kids don't really cotton to Bob though, so she decides to put her relationship with Bob on hold until they're OK with her marrying Bob. Bob is saddened but resolves to win the kids and his girl friend over.
Then, luckily, hi jinx ensue. One of Gillian's kids downloads some top secret stuff off Bob's computer and before you can say Boris and Natasha some evil Russians are in hot pursuit. After a variety of PG style mishaps Bob captures the bad guys and wins the day, the girl friend and the family. And like I said, it works because Jackie Chan doesn't seem shoe-horned into the role.
The action is lighter than most Chan movies but it is inventive and fun. The kids act a little more like real kids than Hollywood Central Casting pods. The youngest kid in particular seems like real 4 year old, goofy and light hearted. When she delivered the line" I don't wanna be a princess, I wanna be a cyboooorg!" I cracked up. I actually laughed more than a few times, which surprised me. As long as you realize going in that this is just very light family entertainment I think you'll be pleased.
110 out of 185 people found the following review useful:
Excellent viewing for family...because it is a KIDS MOVIE!!!!!, 14 January 2010
Author: Azizur Rahman from United Kingdom
Seriously, people are so affected by reviews of films that if anything
comes out, it has to be the new Avatar or Dark Knight. The minute they
hear Jackie Chan in a kids movie, they already hate it! What gives? Yes
this movie is a kids cliché movie...but it has Jackie Chan in it! This
man has more charisma than any other actor that I know of. Last year he
made a violent dramatic film called Shinjuku Incident and now he plays
like a father character in this one! Now that's good transition into
being an actor! Anyway, don't want to spoil anything - it really is a
fun movie. Ignore the other reviews because they are fan-boys expecting
Jackie Chan to fight in Drunken Master III or Police Story 6 or Project
A III etc etc etc.
10 out of 10 easily for me...and I yawned during Avatar!
53 out of 73 people found the following review useful:
Not a Jackie Chan fan but enjoyed it, 17 January 2010
Author: ZR RIFLE from USA
Before taking the kids to see this, I read through some quick reviews
online (such as RogerEbert.com, etc.), and groaned thinking about the
90 minutes or so I'd have to sit watching this...not to mention the
annoying ads stuffed down your throat before the trailers even start.
You know, I'm not going to spend time trying to justify why I liked it, laughed at the corny scenes and dialog, slapstick, etc. - but the bottom line is I/we enjoyed it - despite it being a Chan film which usually I'll pass on. How refreshing not to get any propaganda thrown in your face, political innuendos/viewpoints - whatever, which unfortunately you have to bear in even many kids & 'family' films being pumped out these days ... just a basic family comedy which accomplishes its purpose - to simply entertain and nothing else. What's wrong with that, Mr. Ebert? I think you need to stay away from kids' films. Anyone?
So if you decide to see it, make your own judgment. The negative reviews I read before seeing it prepared me to expect the worst....which in turn actually helped it to be a quite a pleasant surprise. Go figure. So far I find it amusing how some of the reviewers on here spent so much time writing in detail how awful the film is, spending the time, space, and effort into dissecting & critiquing it as though it were the latest Coppola or Scorsese project. Who are they writing to? Those expecting a modern cinematic classic (via Jackie Chan) bringing them to standing applause ... or to parents like myself taking their kids out to have a little fun? Right! LOL.
39 out of 54 people found the following review useful:
I spy a cute, cute family film.....the latest Jackie Chan movie!, 20 January 2010
Author: Amy Adler from Toledo, Ohio
Bob Ho (Jackie Chan), a very successful CIA spy, is retiring from the business. Although he likes his co-workers, including Colton (Billy Ray Cyrus) and his boss (George Lopez), he want a "normal" life. Cornering a Russian gangster will be his final "hurrah". In truth, Bob has fallen in love with a beautiful divorcée, Gillian (Amber Valletta) and wants to marry her. Trouble is, she has three cantankerous kids, Fallan (Madeleine Carroll), Ian and Nora. Whenever he arrives at their house, they find ways to humiliate him. So, when Gillian has to leave town to attend to a sick father, Bob sees an opportunity for him to "get closer" to the children. He'll babysit for them! After all, as Bob says, he has brought down dictators so he can certainly deal with three kids. Ha! Things go wrong almost immediately. Bob can't cook breakfasts the kids will eat, he has trouble stopping squabbles and he finds bedtime rules are difficult to enforce. Most seriously, Ian downloaded a secret file from Bob's computer and now the Russian badguys are after them! Can Bob manage to dodge bullets as he carpools the kiddies to school? This is a cute family film that should please almost everyone. It has a fine story, a zippy direction, a lot of action, and a nice cast. Chan is, as always, a wonderfully comic performer whose smile can light up the world. His inventive martial arts movements are mirthful, too. The rest of the cast, including Carroll, Cyrus, Lopez, and the others, are great, too. As for the settings, costumes, and production values, they are of the top-shelf variety. Especially beautiful is the suburban home where Gillian's family lives. All in all, everyone in the family will spy a winner here, during a showing, and be pleased as punch when the credits roll at film's end.
36 out of 55 people found the following review useful:
Better than the scores show, 21 January 2010
Author: brittlinder17 from United States
Wow, people need to get a grip when they review a kids film! Sure the
premise has been used before & sure the bad guys are cheesy. They are
supposed to be.
This movie has OK action, corny dialogue, and an absolutely wonderful message. Not every movie has to win awards to be great. Some movies are simply great because you get to spend time with your kids & the flick has a redeeming message.
This movie has no sex, no language, and merely comedic violence. What a refreshing idea! I loved that my 13 year old boy & 10 year old daughter enjoyed it & both got the message that family is who loves you not whose blood runs in you.
I would highly recommend this movie to anyone with children or to anyone who is sick of Hollywood "morals" being forced down our throats. A very family friendly movie.
Come with a good attitude. Enjoy the popcorn & a coke. Watch a decent flick & enjoy time with your family.
19 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Jackie Chan's The Spy Next Door was a nice harmless diversion, 19 January 2010
Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, La.
All right, I'll admit right off the bat that I didn't expect a high quality movie when I picked this one and I didn't. What I did get was a harmless 90 minutes with Jackie Chan doing what he does best, which was executing his creatively funny stunts to entertaining effect. There's also a filler story of him being a retiring spy who falls for a divorced woman with three kids who, for the most part, don't think much of him since they mainly think of him as a loser. Oh, and some bad stereotypical Russian accents for the male and female villains too. Still, like I said, Chan provides the main reason one would watch and enjoy this movie and it's nice to occasionally see the supporting cast also get in on the action. Besides, any movie where Chan sings a lullaby to the youngest daughter in Chinese and a former resident of my current hometown of Baton Rouge (Johnny Rivers) is heard singing "Secret Agent Man" during the beginning can't be too bad...
10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Chan Plays a Cool Funny Spy in a Done-to-Death Story, 18 May 2010
Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
OK, where story is concerned, there's nothing new here. Chan plays a spy on the verge of retirement because he wants to settle down with his girlfriend Gillian (Amber Valetta) and her annoying kids. Now the kids hate Chan and Gillian has to leave for a couple of days in order to spend some time with her ailing father. So who offers to look after the kids? It's not hard to see how clichéd the story is but it is Jackie Chan with his creative stunts who makes this a fun watch. The actor's flair for comedy has become common knowledge and he is as energetic as ever. Moreover, his pairing with the beautiful Valetta is refreshing. Valetta doesn't get much to do other than play the usual girlfriend/divorcée/mom of three but she holds her own. The rest of the cast is forgettable. The child actors are initially very annoying. They sort of grow on you as the film proceeds. Overall, the film is nothing out of the ordinary. It doesn't even compare to a majority Chan's superior works but at best it's an amusing one-time watch.
9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
The Spy Next Door, 24 January 2010
Author: Niti N from Thailand
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Spy next door was a pleasant surprise. After reading the countless
negative reviews on the IMDb reviews, i thought it was going to be the
worst 90 minutes in movie history. Although this movie is aimed at
children, adults can watch it and have fun.
In the beginning i thought that this movie was a copy of the "The Pacifier" for sure, from the trailer it looked like both had the same plot, but after watching it I can safely say that this movie has a completely different plot, theme, and style than "The Pacifier." This movie has one action comedy that the whole family can watch together and forget about their worries, their sorrows, and the world outside the theater.
11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Chan's weakest fare to date..., 11 May 2010
Author: nama chakravorty from India
Jackie Chan is an Icon, I am a fan of his... his films have always
entertained, hell ya, he was entertaining even if the material wasn't.
However, Chan's solo-hero return disappoints in 'The Spy Next Door'.
Chan plays a ex-spy who turns a babysitter of 3, the idea itself is a copy and paste 'Pacifier', which offers nothing new. The film begins well, but slips right after 30-minutes into the film. Brain Levant's direction is mundane, and the writing is flawed. Surprisingly, even the Action is is very okay. In acting, Chan looks least interested, though he can still pull of the stunts, at least, some of it. George Lopez is wasted. Billy Ray Cyrus throws a few expressions here and there. Amber Valletta is passable.
'The Spy Next Door' is a major letdown, it doesn't offer solid entertainment!
13 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
A Nutshell Review: The Spy Next Dooe, 24 January 2010
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
While we anticipate Jackie Chan's Asian production with Little Big
Soldier this Lunar New Year, he continues his journey in the West with
yet another kid and family friendly production with The Spy Next Door,
which would fit into the Disney Channel stable given Chan's penchant to
appeal to the lowest denominator to draw in the family crowd, and you
know just how safe the stunts of Hollywood tend to be when appealing to
Which leaves The Spy Next Door pretty much a departure from contemporary adventure flicks which tend to draw upon violence and gore in its action sequences, to keep it within a safe, acceptable rating. Jackie Chan plays Bob Ho, a man with as much personality as his any of his past heroes, which tend to be cop / secret agent belonging to the Hong Kong / Chinese police / spy agency, and here he's on loan to the CIA because of warming Sino-US relations. For years he's been helping out and solving what the Americans cannot, keeping in line with Hollywood's trend of putting China in good light, and he does so undercover and under fake glasses, living next to a divorcée (played by Amber Valletta) whom he fancies, and her three kids.
They do not know his identity as his cover is as a geeky pen salesman, and like any super- hero film, has to keep his identity, abilities and tools a secret, which you know will be threatened for exposure as he grows closer to the family, wanting to take his relationship with Valletta's Gillian to the next step, and working toward seeking acceptance from her children, only for a Russian criminal to escape and threaten the world's oil reserve, and having to grapple with a mole within the CIA. Sounds complicated, but it actually isn't, really, especially when the main villain (Magnus Scheving) spends a lot of his time trying to look trendy and fashionable.
If there's something that will appeal, it'll be two items. First up the opening credit montage which played like a celebration to Chan's illustrious career as an action hero, where you get to see clips from classics such as Hong Kong's Armour of God when he was at his peak, to disasters like Hollywood's Tuxedo when he sold out to the West. Then there's even some drawing from Chan's own real life experiences in his character's monologue about love and family, exploited to add certain emotional gravitas in an otherwise empty film that spends fleeting moments in its underdeveloped subplots about the adventures in parenting/babysitting, from the youngest daughter with a fetish for anything pink, the only son who's a school-bully fodder trying too hard to be cool in school, and an eldest daughter with the usual rebellious teenage attitude problem.
With Jackie Chan growing older and slowing down, this shows up in the carefully crafted action sequences, which while I didn't notice any obvious signs of a stunt double, the stunts performed here are quite the walk in the park for Chan many years ago, where I remember being thrilled by the money-shot stunt sequences that each of his films would highlight. Of late there's none and he seems to be relying on his past laurels, though "improvised" fights and acrobatics that Chan is famous for, still has enough legs to entertain, especially when battling the bad guys in closed quarters using everyday household items. If anything, there's a number of obvious wire-work that you know Hollywood would dabble with, either for stunt safety reasons, for laughs, or just to plain exaggerate.
The Spy Next Door works as a family popcorn movie, keeping a lot of things safe and will entertain any 5 year old kid. Stay tuned during the end credits with hilarious outtakes from the film, and you see that JC still struggles with the English language.
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