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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.