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Film / The Spy Next Door

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Jackie Chan's only movie aimed directly at kids, rather than families. It stars Billy Ray Cyrus and George Lopez, Amber Valleta (as Gillian) from Gamer and The Transporter 2 and three kids. Later in 2010, Chan made the much better-recieved The Karate Kid.

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: Bob Ho, of course.
  • 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.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Bob notices that Farren calls Gillian by her first name instead of "mom". When he talks to Farren about this, she explains that it is because Gillian is not her birth mom, but her stepmom.
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  • 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 biological father, who abandoned her, leaving her with Gillian.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Every single villain knows martial arts.
  • Everyone Owns a Mac
  • Extreme Doormat: Bob acts as a pushover to the kids, especially Farren, with whom he has no idea is trying to run him out of the family, he acts soft and passive to the kids rather than strict and stern person in authority, and that the kids have to respect him as an adult. The only people he isn't lenient to are criminals.
  • 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 feeds leftover bacon to their pet pig. The bacon is really just "Beggin' Strips".
    Farren: "Okay, that's just wrong."
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Farren does have a point that when Bob came over to their house prior to the movie's events, it was only to see Gillian; he never even spoke to the kids. It's really kind of a Clueless Aesop, though: we are given ample evidence that the kids avoid Bob like the plague, so how is he supposed to "speak to them" in the first place? If anyone's to blame, it's Gillian for never talking about the kids!
  • 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.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Farren wants to be this, but obviously neither Bob nor Gillian are going to allow a 13 year old to be so.
  • 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.
  • Pet the Dog: Even though Farren has trouble getting along with Gilligan and Ian, she is nice to Nora, hugging her after gymnastics practice.
  • 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 were to do this in real life, it would be considered child abuse with 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.
  • Stuffed Into A Trash Can: Ian got stuffed into one by bullies, after the poor kid got wedgied.
  • Two Words: I Can't Count: When Bob meets Farren’s older teenage date, Larry (who is soon revealed to be a Russian operative, and whose beatdown by Bob leads to him revealing to the kids that he’s a spy), he tries to warn him not to get too close to her by pointing out she’s too young, counting a one-word number as two words:
    Bob: “I have two words for you, Larry. Thirteen.”
  • Wedgie: Ian gets a pretty big one from his bullies at school revealing his briefs to the entire student body in the hallway. Followed by his wedgie, he gets Stuffed into a Trash Can.
  • 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.