"Delightful Family Romp"
THE SPY NEXT DOOR is a delightful family romp for practically all ages. Rated PG, it’s not a message movie but a popcorn entertainment with very strong values.
Jackie Chan stars as Bob Ho, a Chinese spy on loan to the CIA who has fallen in love with the divorced woman next door, Gillian, who has three precocious, opinionated children. After arresting a Russian bad guy, Bob is ready to retire and settle down with Gillian. The problem is, Gillian’s children don’t like Bob. They think he’s a boring nerd who works as a pen salesman.
Bob is about to tell Gillian about his spy past, when she is called out of state to be with her athletic father, who’s in the hospital having his hip replaced. Bob pleads with her to let him watch the children while she’s away so he can convince them to like him. She reluctantly agrees, but the Russian bad guy, Anton, is sprung out of jail. Making matters worse, Gillian’s precocious son, Ian, has downloaded a secret file from Bob’s computer that Anton would kill to erase, because it contains a special formula Anton has created to destroy America’s oil supply. Anton is afraid that, if Bob figures out the file, the CIA could create an antidote. Also, there appears to be an unknown mole, or traitor, within the CIA who’s helping Anton.
The comedy in THE SPY NEXT DOOR involves Jackie Chan trying to handle Gillian’s children while also protecting them from Anton and his henchmen. This provides plenty of opportunity to watch Jackie in action as he comically thwarts the bad guys and the children’s mischievous intentions. Despite a few corny moments, the movie is loads of family fun.
In the middle of the fun, THE SPY NEXT DOOR extols family, including teaching children to do the right thing and protecting children from harm. Two subplots involve Ian’s difficulty in telling the truth and the young female teenager’s problems with typical rebellion. Combine these things with the plot to defeat the bad guys and put them in jail, and you get a very positive, entertaining family movie with lots of good values. Even better, the movie teaches those positive values in a gentle way that makes the movie even more family friendly as well as more kid friendly.
What more could you want?
That said, there is some action comedy violence and some PG lines that require caution for young children. This PG content is relatively light compared to some other PG family movies, however. As always, please also read the CONTENT section above to determine for yourself and your own family.
(BBB, C, L, V, A, M) Very strong moral worldview promoting family, protecting children, telling the truth, and teaching children to do the right thing, plus a short church wedding scene with a pastor; one light profanity; lots of relatively light action comedy and slapstick violence involving punching, martial arts fighting, kicking, stunts, bad guys want to kill people to leave no witnesses behind, villains threaten kids, a couple groin hits, villains hit with pots, pans, a stick, a bicycle, a TV, and other objects, and people fall, but nothing really intense or disturbing; no sex but light kissing and hugging between dating couple and boy mentions in one scene he got into trouble at school for lying to friends about visiting the Playboy mansion and later jokingly asks young teenage girl, “If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?,” and man warns alleged college student, who turns out to be one of the villain’s henchmen, to stay away from 13-year-old girl; no nudity; no alcohol use; no smoking; and, boy has problem telling truth but is rebuked and effectively encouraged to stop lying, a reference to James Bond movie OCTOPUSSY, some insults, and child bullies are comically rebuked.
THE SPY NEXT DOOR stars Jackie Chan as Bob Ho, a Chinese spy on loan to the CIA who has fallen in love with the divorced woman next door, Gillian. The problem is, Gillian’s three children don’t like Bob. They think he’s a boring nerd. Having just retired, Bob is about to tell Gillian about his spy past, when she is called out of state to be with her athletic father, who’s having hip surgery. Bob pleads to let him watch the children while she’s away so he can convince them to like him. She agrees, but a Russian bad guy escapes the CIA’s custody. Making matters worse, Gillian’s precocious son has downloaded a secret file from Bob’s computer that the villain would kill to destroy.
THE SPY NEXT DOOR is a delightful family romp for nearly all ages. In the middle of the fun, THE SPY NEXT DOOR extols family, teaching children to do the right thing, and protecting children from harm. Thus, THE SPY NEXT DOOR is a positive family movie with many good values. That said, it contains some action, slapstick comedy and PG lines requiring caution for young children.