Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Spy Next Door (2010)

IMDb plot summary: Former CIA spy Bob Ho takes on his toughest assignment to date: looking after his girlfriend's three kids, who haven't exactly warmed to their mom's beau.
Directed by Brian Levant. Starring Jackie Chan, Amber Valletta, Madeline Carroll, and Will Shadley.

Let's start with the good things. What works in this movie: Jackie Chan and, occasionally, the youngest daughter. They're both fun.

What doesn't work: Everything else.

I am never, ever, ever going to get pulled into an "unusual babysitter" movie. I didn't like it in The Pacifier, I didn't like it in Despicable Me, I didn't like it here. It's a boring trope that relies on me liking kids a whole lot more than I do, and it degenerates into the same tired jokes over and over. That is true here as well. And in this movie, the kids are the Most Obnoxious Kids In the World. They abruptly stop being awful at the end, but it's for no plausible reason, since they were awful to their mom the whole time as well, so it wasn't just them being mean to him because he was new -- they're just nasty kids.

The most interesting parts of this are the parts that hardly involve the kids at all. Watching Jackie Chan fight is fun, and if it had just been a silly spy movie I could maybe have gotten into the goofiness of the villains, but it's all broken up with annoying or cheesily dramatic sections involving these horrible children.

So, yeah. Not my favorite.

1.5 stars.

Flickchart: #1637 out of 2268, below Midnight Cowboy and above Durango.

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