The other night I saw the latest Jackie Chan film "The Spy Next Door".
You know I like going to the cinema, and I thoroughly enjoy the entertainment value, which is just as well, since when I bought the tickets, I actually asked the girl behind the counter for a mortgage, to go with the tickets and 'refreshments'. It wasn't the cheapest evening, but the fun value more than made up for it.
As for the film itself, it's not the most high-brow of cinematic feasts. The story is rather weak, the acting not much stronger, and the comedy isn't, well, funny. The boys were laughing out loud at the slapstick nonsense, and Jackie Chan, whilst not at his best, certainly worked hard, given the material he had to work with.
Billy Ray Cyrus (he of 'Achy Breaky Heart' fame) also plays a part, as a spy colleague of Chan's Bob Ho.
In essence, the story is about a Chinese secret service agent on loan to the CIA. He is in love with the next door neighbour (Amber Valletta) who thinks he sells pens for a living; and her children hate him. At one point, as the story moves on, and he is required to 'babysit' them. It appears that spying is easier than looking after the children!
The situation lends itself to comic moments, and when the 'baddies' get involved, all hell breaks loose.
The child actors aren't wonderful either; but you can't blame them - it's a fun film for them, but I don't think this will do them any favours launching them into the big time. I hope I'm wrong.
Chan is best in action mode, and he doesn't disappoint, with his martial arts, using various props to great effect - even though there are many special effects involved. Before the final credits, there is even a bloopers roll, showing some of the out-takes, which is quite good.
My advice; unless it's pouring with rain and there is absolutely nothing else to see (or do), then save your money.