81 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2010
This movie was pretty funny, the kids were cute, and the overarching themes of telling the truth and protecting your loved ones are great points of discussion with children. For those that love Jackie Chan movies, you might be a little disappointed that there is not as much action in this movie and some of the stunts are obviously on wires. But it is a movie for kids/families, so the level and excitement of the stunts seemed appropriate to me. A few things I would want to be aware of as a parent before watching the movie with my child: 1)the female villain often shows a lot of cleavage 2)The 13 year old daughter seems to get away with being very disrespectful to the mom (though it is kind of explained a little later in the movie) 3)there is a little profanity 4)a college age young man hits on the 13 year old daughter (though Jackie doesn't let him get away with it) 5)the young boy in the movie boasts about watching pornography on pay-per view 6)he is also obsessed with getting older girls to show interest in him and receives some tips from Jackie on how to accomplish it.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2010
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 right place.
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. 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 stink.
This one is 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. Chan's light 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, hijinx 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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Oh, my love for Jackie Chan hasn't altered in over 30 years, and I'll still watch anything with him in it. Last I saw of him was FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, in which he passed his superhero torch to the beautiful Michael Angarano.
Here, Chan is Bob Ho, a retired Chinese good-guy-spy "on loan to the CIA" for a last mission. What is cool is Chan gives himself a full speaking role and a sweet American love interest. They plan on getting married, Bob ("not my real name") is retired, all's well.
His girl gets a call that her father is in trouble (hip replacement from a softball game injury). She asks Bob to babysit the kids. All hell breaks loose with a hilarious Russian spy who can't find decent clothes, the kids are brats and eventually help Bob with his troubles. Happy ending at the altar.
If you think this is warmed-over THREE NINJAS, think again. Chan is not as his best--he's old, give him a rest! The film is heartwarming, funny, not as predictable as you might think. The kids are hilarious and it's clear Chan gave this one a lot of thought. It isn't silly, maudlin or over-the-top. Everything from the spying to the babysitting is spot-on realism.
Even Billy Ray Cyrus as the unfairly suspected CIA agent is cool, though he adamantly demonstrates a total lack of acting skill.
I won't want this in my Jackie Chan classics collection, but you have to see this film and see what may be the closest portrayal to Chan in real life. It's JACKIE CHAN!!!!--awesome.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2010
Good natured Spy vs. Kids action flick is a low-cal twinkie even by family film standards. The critics liked to play rough with it; and if you feel snooty about it, better stay away. Cute is its stock in trade and there are no disappointments if expectations remain logical: PG Jackie Chan suburban domestic comedy with mild action. Wacky Russian mobsters and their dominatrix-babe leader wear leathers and generally show bad taste as the foil in the spy plot, which follows Jackie home to his family to be.
Good for kids or adults like me who need a balance from the heavy stuff.
Blu-ray makes the grade for sight and sound.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2014
We all Know that Jackie Chan is The Man!! Yes he may have not done as much Fighting in this but it is still a great movie to watch if you are a fan of Jackie Chan!! This is a good family movie too watch!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2010
This is a good family film with no killing or blood, but a lot of 3 Stooges type violence. Jackie Chan plays the neighbor who is also a spy. He is dating a woman who thinks he is a pen salesman. Her three kids don't like him. Because of that she can't consider him for a long term relationship. When mom, played by Amber Valletta (a nice cross between Uma and Cameron Diaz) has to leave town, Jackie Chan volunteers to babysit so the kids will get to accept him. Like all similar movies (Uncle Buck, The Pacifier) the kids torment their sitter. Chan, like Candy, uses his skills to overcome them and win their love. The director did a good job on the child actors. The movie is a little hokey at times, but it is still a fun film. It has a happy heart warming ending.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Gillian (Amber Valletta) has next a new potential love of her life; it is her next-door neighbor, the sedate pen salesman Bob Ho (Jackie Chan). However, their relationship is doomed as Gillian's children hold a low opinion of Bob. Gillian wants her kids to be safe and happy. What about Bob? He may not be as sedate as Gillian supposes but he intends to for her kids to like him. His opportunity comes when he gets to babysit. However, it looks like his old job may complicate things.
With few exceptions, I am not a Jackie Chan fan. This movie is definitely one of the exceptions. It has over the top acting and stunts. The story is formula and predictable but this people can act and the dialog is hokey to match. You will want to kibitz.
I have only seen the Blu-ray version. Be sure to look at the few DVD extras.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2011
This is one is Jackie Chan's best movie's that he has done, fun, ietertaning, full of action and a great all a round movie.
on December 16, 2011
If you like Jackie Chan, you'll love The Spy Next Door. While the story is different from the usual cops & robbers type movie the talented Mr. Chan stars in, this one is a very good family movie. Jackie, known as "Bob" in the film, in love with his next door neighbor offers to look after her three children during her absence to visit an ailing relative. The children are a 13 year-old girl, easily classified as a real brat during the first half of the story; a brilliant boy-child who has spent much of his young life as fodder for school bullies, and a precicious four-year-old girl who steals many of the scenes. While the children's mother may in fact be in love with Jackie/Bob, the children loathe him, and the older girl and her brother, set out to torment him during his tenure as their babysitter. The fact that Jackie/Bob is a spy is not known to either the children or their mother, the young ones consider him to be a real wuss. As a good spy should, Jackie is able to devise some electronic gadgets to keep the children in line (for example, a gizmo that saves him from chasing the four-year-old by snaking out a line that latches onto her clothing, lifts her up, and delivers her back to her babysitter when she wanders off as she tends to do. The rest of the film is fairly predictable. There are the requisite "bad guys," (Russians, of course), the growing affection between Jackie and the children, and the inevitable confrontation between the good and the bad. And of course, there are plenty of gymnastics and stunts performed by our favorite humorous good guy.
All in all, this is a very enjoyable film with plenty of laughs and delightful characters. You can also spend quite a bit of time wondering if "Jackie really did that?" or if what you're viewing is some sort of camera or computer trick. Whether it is or not, this movie is definitely worth the price.
on February 10, 2011
As a fan of PG-rated action films (Spy Kids, Cats & Dogs, etc.), there was no doubt that this was a movie I was going to see. It was a great movie, filled with action, adventure, and hilarious moments.
Secret agent Bob Ho wants to go into retirement so he can propose to his girlfriend Gillian and start a life being a husband and Dad to her three children Nora, Ian, and Farren. While the kids have their own problems trying to fit in at school and getting along as a family, they have one person they absolutely hate, Bob (there's an exception with Nora at times). When Gillian has to leave for a family emergency, Bob volunteers to watch her children. The kids cause plenty of trouble on their own (not including the cat, turtle, or pig). Meanwhile, Anton Poldark, a Russian terrorist and the last villain Bob defeated while he was an agent, is on the loose again with a special substance that dissolves petroleum (not too mention he also wants revenge on Bob). Bob takes the kids out of town to a hotel and reveals that he is a retired spy. Much to the kids surprise, Farren later calls Gillian up and tells her, and she runs back home after Bob confirms over the phone that Farren was right. Gillian then breaks up with Bob and takes her kids home, and Bob returns to the agency. Later, he finds out from his assistant, Colton, that his collegue Glaze has sided with Poldark to help him with his plan. Then, Ian runs away from home with intentions to become a spy like Bob. He later finds Bob and is closely followed by Farren. Of course, they are all captured by Poldark and his sidekicks. Ian then accidentally reveals that the code Poldark is after was mistakenly downloaded on his Ipod at home and Poldark sends his sidekicks to their house, threatening to kill Gillian and Nora. Bob and the kids later escape and race to Gillain's house, arriving right before the sidekicks do. Ultimately, Bob, Gillian, and the kids all happen to fight off the sidekicks and capture Poldark, with the police and Colt arriving to arrest them. Feeling guilty about ruining the family, Bob tearfully says good-bye to the family. The kids then plead for Bob to stay, Gillian agrees to marry Bob and they do, only to Bob saying that his name isn't actually Bob.
The action seen in this film is similar to other recent action titles, such as the later-seen Karate Kid remake and Race To Witch Mountain. Family is the heart and center of this film as Bob tries to be a protective father-like figure for the kids, he is successful, winning over them in the end. The film also discusses Farren and her situation between families as her Dad is away and has a hard time getting along with her stepmother (Gillian). At the end she finally calls Gillian, "Mom", and realizes she is where she has wanted to be all along. Nora is an adorable four year old that is comparable to Michelle Tanner from Full House. She can be quite smart and more of a talker for her age. Ian is someone who has been picked on by bullies and later overcoming fears.
The film has a lot of funny parts, mostly the ones with the animal sidekicks though. However, more funny parts with the children are also prominent. Just like The Karate Kid, Jackie Chan shows more of his soft side in this film, and showed absolute sincerity throughout the entire 88 minutes of footage. A good film for families to rent and watch on the couch with a bowl of popcorn.