Jackie Chan's Adventures in Babysitting

Martial arts movie legend Jackie Chan is set to star in The Spy Next Door, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He'll play a man "who 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." And you thought MySpace and porny chat rooms were all you had to worry about when your kids turned on the computer. Well, good thing the family just happens to live next door to a high-flying, high-kicking master of ass-whoopings. When I was a kid, if my parents had called the neighbor in to babysit me and my brother, a killer tamale recipe would have been her only weapon.

The plot sounds like fairly familiar territory for Chan, who is not a stranger to playing a kind of goofy good-guy who suddenly finds himself in the middle of a dozen fists of fury. His turn as a chauffeur-turned-secret-agent in 2002's The Tuxedo comes to mind. The plot is also more than a little like the 2005 Vin Diesel starrer, The Pacifier. And at least a half-dozen other films where action heroes have to play nanny for a day, and find the job no less daunting than fighting gun-toting assassins.

Chan once complained in an interview about typecasting and the kinds of scripts he keeps getting: "There was this one where I have to play a cop who takes care of seven kids, sort of like The Sound Of Music. Then there's one where I'm a cop who takes care of four people." Spy seems to be more of the same, which might be a downer for someone who also said he wants to "become a real actor, like Robert De Niro." Hey, Jackie, if it makes you feel any better, De Niro has been typecast more than a few times, too.




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