Review: Chan at worst in “Spy Next Door”

1/2* out of four stars

When I say Jackie Chan gives an awful performance in “The Spy Next Door,” I’m not comparing him to, say, George Clooney, who is now up for a Golden Globe for his work in “Up in the Air.” I’m comparing his performance to whatever performance was his best, and then deciding from there. So on a scale from one to ten, one being the worst possible performance ever and ten being a solid performance from Jackie Chan, this one still gets about a negative five.

I say this because Jackie Chan recently bashed his action classic “Rush Hour,” saying it was the worst thing he ever did. This makes me think about “The Tuxedo,” “The Medallion,” “Around the World in 80 Days,” and especially “Burn Hollywood Burn.” If those were better than “Rush Hour,” where does “The Spy Next Door” fit in?

 “The Spy Next Door” is a formula. A spy/hitman/football player/mass murderer is now in middle-America suburbia and is stuck watching the brattiest kids from hell, when all of a sudden the bad guys find him and action ensues.

Let’s see, Schwarzeneggar in “Kindergarten Cop.” Hulk Hogan in “The Nanny.” Vin Diesel in “The Pacifier.” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in “The Game Plan” and so on. The last two of those films were done within the past five years, so the formula is a little too fresh in people’s minds.

Jackie Chan plays a spy who is thrust into that situation. The bad guys are the Russians. Their plan is so incredibly stupid as are they. When you look back on the movie, the Russian bad guys pose zero threat at all to Chan, the kids, or their mother.

The children. Oh how the children are horrible. And not “cute horrible.” These children are little creeps who could really benefit from a little Ritalin. Not once do they do anything for anyone but themselves. Not even in the end do they learn a good life lesson or do a good deed for someone. They are nasty, destructive little kids. Had I gone to school with them, I would have avoided them like the plague.

So what we have left are the action and the stunts. Action and stunts are something crucial to a Jackie Chan film. In fact, they’re arguably the only reason to go. This film is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America, meaning the actual action and stunt department is very limited. Let me list five Jackie Chan films that are perfectly appropriate for this film’s target audience that have much better stunts and fight scenes: “Mr. Nice Guy,” “First Strike,” “Who Am I,” “Twin Dragons,” “The Forbidden Kingdom.” Coincidentally, these films are all better in every way to “The Spy Next Door.”

Finally, you know you’re in trouble when your Jackie Chan film has bloopers at the end and not one of them involves Jackie getting hurt.

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One Response to “Review: Chan at worst in “Spy Next Door””

  1. […] Review: Chan at worst in “Spy Next Door” « Hollywood Blockbusters Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Posted by admin in Books and Movies and tagged with Avatar Review, Sci-fi movies, Spy Next Door | Trackback […]

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