I watched this DVD with my 6yr old son, but not with his younger brother and sister, who cannot discern the difference between what is acting and what is real. As much as I enjoy Jackie Chan's movies, the martial arts portions of this movie was a huge concern to me when it came to how realistic it would appear to a child. Although the fight scenes would seem realistic to a child, it had a comedic style rather than a fight-to-the-death feel. Also, the villains of the film were not frightening at all.
Chan's character (Bob Ho) is the Clark Kent of spies. Adding George Lopez and Billy Ray Cyrus to the mix, pretty much guarantees a fun movie for kids. Although my son loved this movie, there was something that seemed to be created more for the adults. This was the montage in the beginning featuring Bob in recreations of famous scenes from past spy and action films. It was highly unlikely that a younger child would recognize any of the films represented.
Beyond all the cool fight scenes and Jackie Chan's physical feats, there was ultimately a lesson to be learned in the end, which was that true family does not have to be blood-related. This film offers opportunities for you to talk to your child about different types of non-traditional families. It would also be a great movie for children belonging to such families to watch.
Like me, one of my 6yr old's favorite parts of this DVD is the outtakes at the end, which is an expected feature for all Jackie Chan films. As for the film, he really laughed the hardest during the scenes where the children fight to defend themselves and their home against the bad guys. Although Bob is no James Bond, he did have some neat spy gadgets that very much impressed my son.
You can purchase The Spy Next Door on DVD, a Blu-ray/DVD combo, or digital download at the Lionsgate Shop, Amazon.com, and other major movie retailers.
Thank you to Lionsgate for sending us a sample DVD free of charge to base this review upon.