Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London

"Terrible"

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

45 Years Movie Review

45 Years Movie Review

Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a...

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through...

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of...

Sinister 2 Movie Review

Sinister 2 Movie Review

As the ghoul from the 2012 horror hit stalks a new family, this sequel's sharply...

Advertisement
Paper Towns Movie Review

Paper Towns Movie Review

After setting the scene with vivid characters and some insightful interaction, the plot of this...

Vacation Movie Review

Vacation Movie Review

Both the characters and the tone have been updated as a new generation of Grizwolds...

Trainwreck Movie Review

Trainwreck Movie Review

Amy Schumer makes her big screen debut with a script that feels like a much-extended...

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

Adopting a deliciously groovy vibe, Guy Ritchie turns the iconic 1960s TV spy series into...

Advertisement