Monday, June 07, 2010

Moofies - The Spy Next Door (2010)

EXPECTATIONS: Jackie Chan used to make extremely entertaining kung-fu films that were action packed and full of simple but funny humour. Now, amongst some more "serious" Cantonese films, Chan is churning out some American stinkers, and I expect this is another one.

REALITY: This is almost as bad as The Tuxedo, but the "moral lessons" of The Spy Next Door are lot easier to swallow, so it's not so bad.

Chan plays Bob Ho, a seemingly boring pen salesman who is in actual fact an undercover spy. Bob lives next door to Gillian, a single Mum with three kids and various pets, including a baby pig. Bob and Gillian are dating, and Gillian leaves the kids with Ho for a couple of days, hoping that Ho and the kids will connect. Unfortunately some enemy Russian spies want some "all spark" or whatever garbage that Jackie Chan has, and hilarity ensues as Chan has to fight off spies while looking after three young kids.

The formula is far from original, but there's no reason that this couldn't have been entertaining. The problem for me lies in the fact that I hated everyone in this movie except for Jackie Chan. His girlfriend is boring, her kids are completely annoying shits, and the bad guys act like Natasha and Boris from Rocky and Bullwinkle, except they aren't animated characters from the 1960s so it isn't funny.

Chan can still kick butt and swing chairs just like he always does, and I'm fine with that; it was really sad to see him use body doubles in this one though. Chan's whole schtick is that he does all his own stunts. He mostly does them in this film, but there are a couple of moments where it is clearly a stand-in. They are pointless moments too; one involves "Chan" doing flippy tricks with a BMX bike. Considering Chan does all his own stunts, and clearly he cannot do BMX tricks, perhaps it would have been wiser to just not include that scene in the film.

This was pretty bad, but still not Chan's worst.


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