Next Door Spy is this generation’s Harriet the Spy. At least, that’s what it’s aspiring to be. Unfortunately, this competently animated Danish film isn’t ready to play.
Young Agathe-Christine imagines herself shaking down crooks in a black-and-white noir. It’s a fantasy that allows her to escape the worries of her own life. Her investigation senses are heightened when her family moves and she meets a skater named Vincent – one of those “strong, silent type” boys. She sets her sights on Vincent due to a rising suspicion she has about him, while she also meets new people in her neighbourhood.
Next Door Spy is a mellow movie, which may be a good thing for parents looking for a tame flick for their kids. But since this snoozy film moves at such a baggy pace, it doesn’t supply the audience with anything worth getting excited about. Even the slight tangents featuring Agathe-Christine getting lost in her own imagination are missing an enthusiastic appeal.
Daydreaming and adventures should never feel pedestrian in a children’s movie, but director Karla von Bengtson – in a drab feature debut – seems to disagree.
Next Door Spy screens at Toronto’s TIFF Kids International Film Festival on Thursday, March 15 at 4:00 pm and Sunday, March 18 at 10:45 am at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Click here for more details!
Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:
Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie