By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated January 15, 2010 at 05:00 AM EST
Colleen Hayes

Jackie Chan’s instincts, to segue into family comedy as he ages out of his Golden Age of Extreme Stunts, are sound; it’s this particular family comedy that’s lame. In The Spy Next Door, Chan plays Bob Ho, an undercover spy who masquerades as a dweeby pen salesman. Amber Valletta is Bob’s suburban neighbor and girlfriend, a single mother of three kids who give Bob a hard time. Save room for some tediously cartoonish Russian spies, George Lopez as a cartoonish CIA boss, a shaggy Billy Ray Cyrus as a fellow spook, and a lot of perfunctory kid shenanigans. Under the circumstances, some characteristically inventive Chan martial arts choreography involving household objects — fridge, frying pan, pet turtle — is gratefully appreciated. C-

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