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The Spy Next Door review

Jackie Chan gets some help from the kids in this family action caper

Jackie Chan is globe-schlepping Chinese spy Bob Ho, working with the CIA to take down a fiendish Russian terrorist called Poldark (Magnús Scheving).

Through the usual series of absurd circumstances, the put-upon Ho is forced to look after his girlfriend’s trio of snotty kids, who eventually aid him in pursuit of the villainous Russkie.

Filled with slapstick guffaws, dodgy accents and copious pratfalls, Brian Levant’s (The Flintstones) light-hearted action comedy succeeds because it stays true to what it actually is: a kids’ movie.

It doesn’t hedge its bets with cheeky nods and winks to mum and dad, while Chan doesn’t risk anything death-defying, bone-breaking or vaguely alarming here, as is his wont when trying to please the more demanding martial arts hardcore. He simply mugs for the camera and bashes the bad guy.

If you are five, you will laugh, cheer, and no doubt kick bushes all the way home. If you are not, enjoy the nap.

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Available platformsMovie