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1 item from 2004

Agent Cody Banks

29 March 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »


Friday March 12

Agent Cody Banks, the teen secret agent who last year helped MGM bide a bit of boxoffice time while awaiting the arrival of the next real James Bond installment, crosses over the pond to again save the world in Agent Cody Banks: Destination London.

In terms of inspiration or even the slightest shred of ingenuity, Banks ranks more like an 000 than an 007.

Even more than the so-called original, the sequel's content to trot out the flimsiest of heavily worn spy-movie cliches without bothering to give star Frankie Muniz an opportunity to pull off anything truly heroic or at the very least quick-witted.

That probably won't bother its not-so-demanding junior demo, but even that segment seemed a little restless at a preview screening, which could portend OK but at less-than-stellar numbers.

While the first Cody Banks was able to have some fun with its young protagonist trying to maintain a "normal" teenage life while undergoing all that extensive spy training, the second quickly dispenses with a similar summer camp scenario before sending Muniz's Banks off to England, where a rogue CIA agent is planning to implement a stolen, top-secret mind-control device for his own diabolical purposes.

With Hilary Duff, his previous partner in crime-fighting, now busy with her own film career, Banks is paired up with Derek (the ubiquitous Anthony Anderson), a CIA reject who's recruited to protect Cody Cover's as a clarinet prodigy at an elite music boarding school.

When he's not faking practicing, Cody runs around London on the trail of the bad guys with a little help from a fellow student (Hannah Spearritt) who just happens to be Cody's British secret service counterpart.

As directed by Kevin Allen and written by Don Rhymer, there's a whole lot of running around going on without pausing to get maximum mileage out of such potential goodies as dental retainer listening devices, exploding Mentos and piano-playing pooches.

Rather than give much in the way of day-saving to do, Muniz and company have to settle for taking in the local scenery (actually provided by London, not Vancouver), which has been colorfully captured by cinematographer Denis Crossan.

Agent Cody Banks: Destination London

MGM MGM Pictures presentsa Bob Yari/Maverick Films/Dylan Sellers production


Director: Kevin Allen

Screenwriter: Don Rhymer

Story: Harald Zwart, Dylan Sellers, Don Rhymer

Based on the characters created by: Jeffrey Jurgensen

Producers: Dylan Sellers, Guy Oseary, David C. Glasser, Bob Yari, David Nicksay

Executive producers: Madonna, Jason Alexander, Jennifer Birchfield-Eick, Kerry David, Danny Gold, Michael Jackman, Andreas Klein, Mark Morgan

Director of photography: Denis Crossan

Production designer: Richard Holland

Editor: Andrew MacRitchie

Costume designer: Steven Noble

Music: Mark Thomas


Agent Cody Banks: Frankie Muniz

Derek: Anthony Anderson

Mrs. Banks: Cynthia Stevenson

Mr. Banks: Daniel Roebuck

Emily: Hannah Spearritt

CIA director: Keith David

Jo Kenworth: Anna Chancellor

Diaz: Keith Allen

Kenworth: James Faulkner

Running time -- 99 minutes

MPAA rating: PG »

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