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The Spy Next Door Details


Reminiscent of , with a dash of , The Spy Next Door blends together an entertaining mixture of family fun and martial-arts comedy styling to form a familiar story that once again reminds us that even hardened action heroes have a soft side. Jackie Chan stars as Bob Ho, an international spy on loan to the CIA who gives up his job in hopes of leading a so-called normal life with his next-door-neighbor girlfriend and her rambunctious brood. There's nothing in Spy that the audience hasn't seen before from similarly themed incarnations (think Jackie Chan), but, fans will appreciate director Brian Levant's homage to Jackie Chan's past Hong Kong movie blockbusters -- most notably, Brian Levant and Brian Levant -- during the opening credit sequence, which is fitting considering many of the action sequences are derivative of those films.The main story centers on Bob's relationship with artsy single mom Gillian (Amber Valletta) and her three kids: precocious teenage stepdaughter Farren (Madeline Carroll), nerdy middle child Ian (Will Shadley), and adorably energetic Nora (Alina Foley). After an emergency sends Gillian away to Denver, Bob steps up and offers to watch the kids while she's gone. Ill-equipped to handle a situation that's clearly over his head, Bob utilizes his spy skills and gadgets -- video watch, GPS tracking, x-ray glasses -- to gain control over the situation in hopes of winning over the kid's affection, but when an old enemy escapes from prison and threatens his potential family, Bob must return to his 007 world of international espionage to protect them.Admittedly, there's a certain level of cheese in this film, especially when it comes to the Boris-and-Natasha-style villains, Poldark (Magnús Scheving) and Creel (Katherine Boecher), whose silly Russian stereotyped performances and running joke about American fashion unabashedly border on cringe-worthy territory. Not to mention, the thinly plotted storyline involving brainiac Ian, who accidentally downloads a top-secret formula for oil-eating ooze created by the bad guys, which propels the main action of the film. Adding to the pile are the supporting cast members: George Lopez as the traitorous CIA agent, Glaze, and Billy Ray Cyrus as CIA agent and Bob's BFF Colton James, who lends folksy witticisms like "As gone as rum cake at an AA meeting."Even so, Chan's charm wins out in the end, and The Spy Next Door's most effective sequences involve Bob's attempts to bond with the kids -- from taking little Nora shopping for a Halloween costume to helping Ian with school bullies and girls. These comedic moments more or less overshadow an otherwise simplistic narrative, and the audience can't help but smile to themselves every time Chan appears onscreen. Die-hard fans might miss the era of classic kick-ass Hong Kong action films, but Spy manages to fill that void as an entertaining alternative that kids and parents alike will enjoy. ~ Alaina O'Connor, Rovi

  • Release date:January 15, 2010


Jackie Chan
as Bo Ho
Amber Valletta
as Gillian
Madeline Carroll
as Farren
George Lopez
as Glaze
Billy Ray Cyrus
as Colton James
Will Shadley
as Ian
Magnús Scheving
as Poldark
Katherine Boecher
as Creel
Lucas Till
as Larry
Mia Stallard
as Cute Girl
Quinn Mason
as Carl
Frank Bond
as Walter
Arron Shiver
as Scientist
Esodie Geiger
as Principal
Stephen Eiland
as Taxi Driver
Tim Connolly
as Russian Thug
Troy R. Brenna
as Russian Thug
Jeff Chase
as Russian Thug
Scott Workman
as Russian Thug
Mark Kubr
as Russian Thug
David Mattey
as Russian Thug


Brian Levant
Robert Simonds
Jonathan Bernstein
Screen Story
Jonathan Bernstein
Gregory Poirier
Dean Cundey
Season Kent
Musical Direction/Supervision
David Newman
Composer (Music Score)
Happy Walters
Musical Direction/Supervision
Lawrence Jordan
Stephen Lineweaver
Production Designer
Bryce Perrin
Art Director
Terri Goddard
Associate Producer
George Parra
Associate Producer
Solon So
Executive Producer
Ira Shuman
Executive Producer
Ryan Kavanaugh
Executive Producer
Tucker Tooley
Executive Producer
Lisa Jensen
Costume Designer
Carla Curry
Set Decorator
George Parra
First Assistant Director
Bill Daly
Sound Mixer
Jeanne McCarthy
Jo Edna Boldin
Nicole Abellera
David Lingenfelser
Visual Effects Supervisor
Scott August
Second Assistant Director
Ed Jones
Visual Effects Supervisor
Douglas Noe
Christopher Kulikowski
Post Production Supervisor
Corinne Villa
Visual Effects Editor
Karen McDonald
Key Make-up
Dustin Bernard
Unit Production Manager
Tony Bonaventura
Properties Master
Bob Brown
Stunts Coordinator
Jane Galli
Department Head Makeup