Sunday, May 30, 2010

Spy Next Door

When writing my review of The Drummer, which stars Jaycee Chan, Jackie Chan's son, I realized I never posted a review of this family-friendly movie, The Spy Next Door.  I took the kids to see it one afternoon to give Kelly some quiet time.  As anyone who has seen a Jackie Chan movie might expect, there are plenty of acrobatic martial arts stunts here, but for the family audience, the action is more comical, cartoonish, and nonlethal than is typical.  It's a fun movie with some fun action and a touching story.  If you watch it with the kids, and keep in mind that it's intended for kids, you'll have a good time.
A dramatic but rather silly rescue at the mall.

Chan plays Bob Ho, a mild-mannered pen importer living in suburbia.  He falls in love with Gillian, the beautiful single mom next door, but Gillian's kids can't stand him.  He wants to marry her, and he wants to tell her he's a spy, and he wants to leave espionage so he can settle down with her, but he can't find the right time.  When she's called away to care for her ailing dad, he jumps at the chance to look after the kids while she's gone, in hopes of doing some bonding with them. Unfortunately, he's right in the middle of a big case, and his nemesis, a Russian terrorist (remember when the bad guys were always the Russians?) comes after him.

Chaos ensues.  Gillian, appalled that he would allow her kids to be in danger due to his work as a spy, ditches him.  The kids, however, have finally started to warm up to him.  If you have seen this type of movie before, you won't be surprised by the heart-warming ending.

We all enjoyed The Spy Next Door, except perhaps for Chloe.  Chloe has a sympathy cry; when she's around a baby who's crying, she'll join right in.  Well, when the Russians attack, the little girl begins screaming.  It's not that scary a scene; it's a comedy, remember?  Besides kung-fu, there's ladder-fu, lawn furniture-fu, jacket-fu, and swimming pool skimmer net-fu, with the little girl alternatively screaming and cheering.  Ho has to fight part of the time with her clinging to his leg.  The fight ends comedically and victoriously for the good guys, but Chloe stayed in screaming mode for some time.

A good time with the kids.  Bottom line, 2 1/2 stars.

No comments: