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Review: The Spy Next Door

Brian Levant’s cheap misfire
By BRETT MICHEL  |  January 13, 2010
0.5 0.5 Stars

Brian Levant has a real talent. First, the Are We There Yet? helmer helped bring down the career of Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. with 2002's Snow Dogs. Now, he's doing the same for affable Asian action star Jackie Chan.

Let's hope Chan's fans back East never get a whiff of this one. It's pitched at a pre-teen audience — the only kind likely to enjoy Levant's cheap misfire.

On loan to the CIA, undercover Chinese spook Bob Ho (Chan) faces a tough assignment: baby-sitting the disapproving children (Madeline Carroll, Will Shadley, and Alina Foley) of his implausible fiancée, Gillian (Amber Valletta). They think he's a "robot" — and given Chan's lack of interest, I side with the kids, who get in on the espionage when Russian terrorists come knocking. Horrified by Bob's lack of parenting skills, Gillian ends (temporarily) their relationship: "You're never going to see them again!" Doesn't she realize he lives next door?

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