Film: The Spy Next Door

Jackie Chan's only movie aimed directly at kids, rather than families. It features Billy Ray Cyrus and George Lopez, Amber Valleta (as Gillian) from Gamer and The Transporter 2 and three kids. Thankfully, later in the same year (2010), Chan made The Karate Kid, a much better film.

It follows Bob Ho (Chan), a CIA agent who retires so that he can spend more time with his girlfriend, Gillian, who lives next door, and her three kids, Nora, Farren, and Ian. When Gillian goes away to visit her father in the hospital, Bob agrees to babysit the children. Hilarity Ensues. However, a plot by Russian spies looking for a stolen secret formula they believe Ho has threatens to put the entire family, and the world, in danger.


This film provides examples of:

  • Action Hero Babysitter
  • Almost Kiss: Bob and Gillian almost kiss in the beginning but Gillian interrupts with "We got an audience", referencing the kids.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Bob singing lullabies to Nora in Chinese. Doubles as The Cast Showoff due to Jackie Chan's classically-trained and seldom-used singing pipes.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Pretty much all of the kids. Even their own mother can't deal with them.
    • Farren is easily the worst offender. Ian and Nora warm up to Bob pretty quickly, but Farren acts like a complete brat in comparison. Arguably it could be because she's a teenager, but she generally comes off as an awful person.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: the oil eating bacteria would be very useful in the Gulf of Mexico or some other major oil spill - or as a slimming product.
  • Disappeared Dad Farren's father by blood, who abandoned her, leaving her with Gillian.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Every single villain knows martial arts.
  • Everyone Owns A Mac
  • Harmless Villain: The main villain is more of a comical character than anything, not doing anything to pose as scary. Would qualify as Laughably Evil if his 'jokes' were actually funny.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Ian feds leftover bacon to their pet pig.
    Farren: "Okay, that's just wrong."
  • Mama Bear: Gillian is capable of some rather offhanded violence when she thinks the kids are in danger, from dragging a guy away from her cab
  • The Mole: George Lopez' character turns out to be a villain near the end.
  • Mundane Utility: Bob gets a mini-flamethrower, which he uses to heat up the toast and bacon.
  • Nerds Speak Klingon: While snooping around on Bob's computer, Ian finds some interesting files.
    Ian: Farren, do you realize what this is?
    Farren: It's got you all worked up. Let me guess, a Klingon dictionary?
    Ian: You have me confused with an entirely different class of geek.
  • The Nudifier: Family-friendly variant as the oil-eating bacteria only consumes the Dark Chick's shoes.
  • Poke the Poodle: The Dark Chick literally takes candy from a kid.
  • Recycled Premise: The substance-dissolving MacGuffin and the spy with a Secret Identity and romance problems were all in Agent Cody Banks.
  • Rule of Funny: Though every Jackie Chan movie fight scene is under this category, there's also a scene in which Bob tosses a small kid no older than 5 up in the air extremely high, and she lands into her clothes. Of course, if you are to do this in real life, it would be child abuse and there's a 99.9% chance the child will die. Unless you're Jackie Chan doing it.
  • Running Gag: the freshly-sprung main villain going through one lousy outfit to replace his Institutional Apparel after another. Although the Siegfried And Roy suit looked all right.
  • Secret Identity: Chan's character, Bob Ho, is a secret spy disguising himself as a pen importer.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Bob susses out a spy by saying something Russian.
  • Stock Footage: Again, with using scenes of Jackie Chan's older films (including a scene from Armor of God) at the start to introduce him as a martial arts badass spy.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: A single mom leaves her three annoying children with her boyfriend, who they hate very much. What could go wrong!? Of course, Hilarity Ensues.