I’ve always figured that once he got to a certain age, Jackie Chan would start making films for kids. Twenty-nine year old Jackie mugging his way through Police Story was one thing because, man!, he could kick the shit out of some chairs and ladders. (Which is how we refer to young Maggie Chung in my house.) But a fifty-year old version doesn’t cut it the same way. Maybe kids will get a kick out of his silly faces and Roundhouses by Avid(tm).
And maybe not, which is why he’s working with Brian ‘Are We There Yet?‘ Levant and recent Pink Panther producer Robert Simonds on The Spy Next Door. They can punch up a story like Jack-…never mind. But the movie is not quite a story about a kid who lives in a house that’s next to another house and in the other house there’s this guy that’s a spy. But it should be. No, this adds depth. Jackie is “called to baby-sit his neighbor’s children and winds up having to fight off secret agents after one of the kids inadvertently downloads a secret code.” If Jackie was playing Pete Townshend and by ‘secret code’ they mean a password to chunkychildren.com, I’d be interested.
Oh Jackie, it didn’t have to be like this.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey