The Spy Next Door
A Chinese agent working under cover with the CIA (Jackie Chan) inadvertently embroils his new girlfriend (Amber Valletta), and her three kids who don’t like him (Madeline Carroll, Will Shadley, Alina Foley), in his latest case. Jonathan Bernstein, James Greer and Gregory Poirier’s script is dimwitted kid stuff; the jokes aren’t funny and the fight scenes aren’t exciting (Chan used to pride himself on doing all his own stunts with no shortcuts or cheating, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore; telltale signs of CGI abound). Chan is still likable, and endearing as he grapples with English, but he’s on his own. The villains (Magnús Scheving, Katherine Boecher) are Boris and Natasha buffoons, and those three kids aren’t nearly as appealing as their parents and director Brian Levant think they are.