Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London

"Bad"

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Review


Last year's kiddie secret-agent comedy "Agent Cody Banks" was a stupid movie that got by on clever charm. It starred Frankie Muniz (from "Malcolm in the Middle") as a junior-high James Bond who had to get over his fear of talking to girls in order to complete his mission and save the world from some contrived evil.

The picture got a enough mileage out of Muniz's amusing believability as a secret agent on training wheels and out of its tongue-in-cheek twists (to keep his parents in the dark, the CIA did his homework and housework while he was on assignment) to balance out a lot of slapdash screenwriting -- so all in all, it squeaked by as good family fun.

But the rushed-into-production sequel "Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London" is twice as stupid and without even an infinitesimal hint of the cleverness that kept the original afloat.

A year older, wiser and better trained, Cody is now supposed to be a brilliant operative, but the script is so bogus that he's not even smart enough keep an eye out for bad guys sneaking up on him. Undercover at an international music academy (insert stock footage of London tourist attractions here), he's been given a gadget-clarinet that plays itself -- but for the sake of building an obtuse plot point out of his performance anxiety, nobody bothers to tell Cody that little tidbit.

The movie is positively swimming in such lazy screenwriting gaffes, which comes as no surprise in a script by Don Rhymer, the mechanical, half-asleep sitcom hack behind "The Santa Clause 2" and "Big Momma's House."

Here's this guy's idea of clever butting-heads banter between Muniz and a perky mini-MI-5 agent played by Hannah Spearritt (a baby version of Baby Spice from flash-in-the-pan teen-pop group S Club 7):

She: "Tell me something I don't know."

He: "I guess that would be difficult."

She: "Oh, touché!"

In London, Banks is up against a hammy, hung-up-on-being-bald, rogue CIA spook (Keith Allen) and a stereotypically snooty English aristocrat (James Faulkner) who have perfected a mind-control microchip and plan to implant several of them (don't bother asking how) into the molars of world leaders at a summit meeting at Buckingham Palace with ridiculously low security. Nobody needs an invite to get in, apparently -- just a tuxedo.

Director Kevin Allen ("The Big Tease") displays an apathetic contempt for his audience, assuming kids won't notice the endless parade of lazy and lame machinations as long as they get a gratuitous fart joke from time to time, and that parents will soldier through with their lowered expectations.

But "it's just a kids' movie" is no excuse for such an insipid and cursory effort. It's no excuse for "yeah, right!" moments that a 6-year-old could spot, as when the bad guy calls attention to himself by firing a bazooka at Cody in public. It's no excuse for Cody not being smart enough to stay safely on a school bus when the bad guy spots him at the beginning of that scene.

It's no excuse for the half-hearted kung-fu "fight" scenes that follow, which look as if they were choreographed by a dance teacher at a retirement home and which feature meaningless, asinine post-punch wisecracks like "Go and write that on your lunchbox!" (Huh?) And it's no excuse for the way the director leaves his actors adrift in the film's flotsam and jetsam of ineptitude, begetting aimlessness and ineffectuality from Muniz, rampant scenery-chewing from the bad guys and shameless clowning from Anthony Anderson ("Kangaroo Jack") as Cody's bumbling handler.

Clearly nobody involved with "Agent Cody Banks 2" cared if it was any good at all. They just cared about cranking it out before the first movie's shelf life expired.



Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th March 2004

Box Office USA: $23.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $28.8M

Budget: $26M

Distributed by: MGM

Production compaines: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 13%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 82

IMDB: 4.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Cody Banks, as Derek Bowman, as Emily Sommers, as Berkhamp on Double Bass

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.