The Spy Next Bore

“The Spy Next Door” Movie Poster Photo By |

Sammy Warshaw ’12
Staff Writer

"The Spy Next Door" Movie Poster Photo By |

Before I begin to write my review of the new Jackie Chan family film “The Spy Next Door”, I would like to put forth my Dad for a nomination of Father of the year for taking me to this film and managing to not walk out on numerous occasions.

I guess we should start off with the film’s plot (or lack thereof). The film begins with Bob Ho (Chan) fighting off evil villains and still managing to date his next door neighbor who believes that he is a pen salesman. Are you hooked yet? Well I wasn’t. The movie leads us to the overall premise, involving Ho babysitting his girlfriend’s children. Does this plot sound familiar to the nearly as awful Vin Diesel movie, “The Pacifier”? If you are going to rip off another movie’s plotline, at least do it with a movie that wasn’t already a disaster.

As the tired plot went on, I drew my attention to the acting. Jackie Chan has made a living off martial arts movies, so I would think that he at least he would get his character right. Well, I guess I was wrong. He struggles with his accent almost as much as the film struggles with relevance. As for the kids, they seem to just spit out one-liners, showing little emotion and blatant over acting. It seems as if the kids knew this movie was terrible, and they are trying to show their stage mothers that they deserved better material. By the time the film hit its climax, I was more concerned about getting a pesky piece of popcorn out of my teeth than the character’s well being.

I can’t imagine another movie that combined such a predictable storyline with such one-dimensional characters. On the topic of one-dimensional characters, I feel obligated to mention Billy Ray Cyrus, who plays a fellow CIA agent who manages to have zero on screen presence and just awful humor. At one point, he declares “he’s gone like rum cake at an AA meeting.” Not only is this line utterly offensive, I would bet that there aren’t TOO many 8 year olds who know what either a Rum Cake or an AA meeting is. This quote is just an example of the film’s constant struggle to remain relevant.

After sitting through this remarkably appalling film, my respect for American Cinema and acting integrity seems to have gone out the window. The film did influence me to do something however. It influenced me to want to do a roundhouse kick right across the faces of the producers at Relativity Studios, the people who are responsible for green-lighting this excuse for a movie. I was left kung-fu-fighting myself from falling asleep.