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|Index||47 reviews in total|
I will admit, I was a fan of the first film. While I didn't think it
was one of the greatest films created, I did think that it had quite a
bit of potential coupled with ample originality. It was fun, exciting,
and it seemed like everyone involved seemed to be enjoying themselves.
I only with that I could say the same for the sequel, Agent Cody Banks:
Destination London. From the opening sequence of this film you could
sense an aura of dislike, repetitiveness, and simple futility. Nobody,
not even Frankie Muniz himself, seemed like they were bringing the same
level of excitement to this project. Also, the level of originality was
completely below par for this sequel. If you, like myself, brought any
excitement from the first film to this one, it will be completely
destroyed. Nothing worked in this movie, from the jokes, to the "spy"
story, it just seemed flat and disrespectful.
My first issue is with the cast. If this was a true sequel, I think the producers could have budgeted a bit more to see about getting the original characters back. I understand that perhaps Hillary Duff's paycheck had risen since the original film, but she did bring something (as embarrassing as it is to say) to Agent Cody Banks that kept the spark alive. As did everyone else involved, sadly, Anthony Anderson (one of the most overused comic actors of this decade) brought nothing to the table. His jokes seemed generic and, honestly, repetitive. He had no character, all I could witness was Anthony Anderson being Anthony Anderson. They attempted to bring sympathy to his character by giving him this sub-story about being the "black" sheep of the CIA, but in my eyes it just wasn't enough. Anderson was just trying to showcase his "talent" so that he can continue to live the lifestyle that he has built. It was sad, and really hurt this film. Second, was Muniz himself. The bond between him and Hannah Spearritt was poor. I am not sure who the casting agent was on this project, but there was no chemistry between these two actors. They continued to prove that by reading your lines and walking the steps, you could inherit a $5 million dollar paycheck. Nobody cared, nobody stopped, they just continued to make this cheapened sequel.
Next issue, where was the story? The first film carried with it some decent events that built a strong story which ultimately lead to a better than average film, but it seemed like in this sequel they aimed towards children and empty minds. In most film sequels, they use a similar plot structure to give the audience a sensation of relaxation, while simultaneously building different elements to keep our attention. Well, none of that was used in this film. Instead, we find ourselves with a cheapened story that results in dogs playing piano and a very unspooky villain. In fact, I couldn't even tell you who the true bad guy was of this film, and that is a perfect sign that your film is struggling. This story just felt as if it was unfinished, as if the original screenplay was not dumbened down for children, but instead built another strong adventure, but the studio wanted to capture the child audience, so the butchered the product, leaving frayed edges and unfinished segments, so that they could make room for Anthony Anderson's cheap laughs. Yet again, proving the pathetic nature of the film. I went into this story expecting to be completely surprised, yet somehow walked away without any recollection of what I just experienced. It was the perfect example of a how a sequel should not be structured or released.
Finally, I would like to say that if you have a film that seems to do somewhat well at the box office, there should be no need to rush right into a sequel, especially if you see a growing decrease in the excitement behind Malcolm in the Middle. Frankie Muniz is a decent actor, but when handed poor material, he will not fray from making it exceptionally poor. He is one of those actors that brings good things to great material, but will falter if handed unseasonable stuff. I do not see a bright future for Muniz due to his ability to stray from decency. This could have been a powerful sequel, but instead Hollywood yet again strayed towards the side of childish behavior instead of truthful storytelling.
Overall, this film lacked the fun of the first film. With unfamiliar characters, comedy that seemed forced and incoherent instead of funny, and a story that had that cheapened Velcro feel to it, Agent Cody Banks 2 proved that jumping to quickly into a sequel will place a black cloud on your entire series. While once I had considered this to be an interesting and highly original concept, I now have second thoughts. I am not sure that Muniz was prepared for such a cheap sequel, and therefore he signed too quickly. I do not recommend this film to anyone that enjoyed the first film, or at least was under the impression that the first film was decent. This was a horrible sequel that should have never seen the light of day. YUK!
Grade: * out of *****
Agent Cody Banks 2 is a decent sequel to the original. It is watchable with a few scattered laughs. However, the film way overstays its welcome. Some scenes go on without any point to them whatsoever. The climax at Buckingham Palace seems to go on and on forever. I think Frankie Muinz is a very bland actor. I never understood his appeal or of his show Malcolm in the Middle. He seems lost in a role that requires more charisma and screen presence. In the first movie, he had help from Angie Harmon and Hillary Duff. In this movie, he has a miscast Anthony Anderson and an English girl who is not given enough screen time to develop a character we care about. This is not to say the movie is not fun to watch. However, it pales in comparison to the original and the far superior Spy Kids trilogy which was far more imaginative and more fun. 5/10 and I think I am being generous
Frank Muniz comes back as Cody Banks in this lackluster sequel in which
he comes out of kids spy school to track down a hispanic Dictator named
Diaz who used to be in the Cia.
Lame jokes are abound in this sequel as the jokes will pass you by without making you laugh, although kids might get them (like the chocolate surprise joke and millions of James Bond references)
One aspect I didn't like in this sequel are the numerous racial insults and stereotypes in the film ranging from a middle eastern with a bad accent to a black Muslim who plays a trumpet!! Man I don't know how this on screen, it also explains why Roger Ebert gave this film a thumbs down.
Still if you like dumb entertainment check it out.
PS: Speaking of dumb racial stereotypes that girl who plays the blonde dumb bimbo who belives the lies of Cody is a near riot, at the expense of dumb blonde stereotypes.
A few laughs yes, but is the movie good? No.
This is a fairly weak follow-up to the original. It lacks the newness and
novelty found in first movies, which is to say it offered nothing really new
In his movie we already know who he is and what he does. The gadgetry is nothing stunning or new. The special effects are fairly standard.
The biggest chance to go anywhere, and it was completely missed, was for him to at least get a little distracted by the cute flute player, or even the bassoon, woodwind buddy, girl. Granted we cannot let him go into full James Bond mode, but it was an opportunity to make a little something extra in the movie, and it was squandered.
All in all, I am not so wrapped up in or concerned with the stuff critics get off on. I don't need to say something special or controversial to get published. I don't need to rag on a film to feel superior to the great unwashed who pay to see it at the local cinema. I am concerned in being entertained and seeing my family equally entertained.
That said, we were mildly entertained. It will be a safe choice for family movie night from the video store. No one is going to be annoyed by it, but few will be thrilled either.
Save your theater movie, and wait to rent it.
I was lucky to get a free preview ticket for this ahead of its official U.K.
release. Lucky in that I didn't have to pay to see this film. Because it
sucks big time. We are talking hungry anteaters here, people. This film
should have been called "Cody Banks Franchise: Destination Oblivion". And
this is someone who thoroughly enjoyed the original film. But everything
that that film got right, this one manages to get wrong. The great joke in
the original film where a teenage secret agent has to get close to a
professor's daughter but proves to be completely clueless around women has
been junked here and all we are left with is the standard teenage secret
agent story. That wouldn't matter so much if we had a great story and great
characters but we don't.
Setting it in London would have been a great idea if they had bothered to look beyond the standard cliché English eccentric characters but they don't. This is lazy writing of the highest order (yes, Don Rhymer, I mean you) and throws away every opportunity the setting gives for the story. Why not some cultural misunderstanding between Cody and the English, for instance? Or their disbelief that he is a secret agent. I know this isn't supposed to be taken seriously but this could have been a lot funnier than it is. Instead we get the typical English eccentrics so beloved of Hollywood.
Still, I must confess that the revelation during the concert at Buckingham Palace at the film's finale that Tony Blair is under mind control from an evil mastermind did make me laugh, even though it takes the film dangerously close to realism, something that doesn't occur again throughout the rest of the film (the Blair look-a-like (and sound-a-like) is great though - give that man a medal. For a minute, I was thinking it was the real thing. After his appearance in "The Simpsons", I was beginning to think that maybe Blair was starting to line up a new career for himself for when he gets kicked out of Downing Street).
And if I say that the only person not to disgrace themselves in this film is Hannah Spearritt, then you may some clue about how bad the performances are. Paul Kaye (a.k.a. Dennis Pennis) gives a career-truncating performance as an eccentric Q-type character while Anna Chancellor gets stuck with another posh English woman role after her turn in "What a Girl Wants" (What has this poor woman done to upset her agent? That's what I want to know), Anthony Anderson manages to make his previous performance in "Kangaroo Jack" look a masterpiece of subtlety by comparison and David Kelly is embarrassing as an eccentric butler (a shame as he's usually quite good, as anyone who's seen "Waking Ned" will testify). As for Hannah Spearritt, she makes an appealing easy on-the-eye replacement for Hilary Duff and isn't half bad as the flautist/covert agent, especially given the paucity of the material she was to work with. Given a decent script, she might find herself a career outside of S-Club 7 but after this and the S-Club 7 movie "Seeing Double", like Anna Chancellor, she needs to get herself a new agent first (perhaps she shares the same one as Anna Chancellor). To think this travesty was directed by an Englishman (Kevin Allen) defies belief (what was he thinking of? The pay cheque?). Avoid (like the plague), I beg you!!!
Before I saw this movie on DVD, I had low expectations about this film because of the negative reviews about it. I must say that I liked it, a lot. This film is just as good as the first Banks minus Hilary Duff. This time around, Banks attends a CIA camp during the summer. One night, troops came to take the leader of the camp away. But, Banks thought it was just a drill. How wrong he turned out to be. The guy who escaped is a mind-control geek and he wants to use the devices to take over the world. Banks must head to London, team up with two more agents(a hot chick and an agent who stays in London), and stop the world from turning into mind-control freaks. The acting is great especially with all three agents played by Frankie Muniz, Anthony Anderson, and Hannah Spearitt. The plot was a simple one with a few comedic points added in. I recommend this movie to everybody. I rate this film a 9/10.
Right, first things first, I enjoyed the first Agent Cody Banks movie, While silly and predictable, it was fun, entertaining and endearing. This sequel tries hard, but it could have been so much better. It does have redeeming qualities, such as the soundtrack, Hannah Spearitt in a chirpy performance as Cody's Scotland Yard counterpart and some cool stunts and action sequences. However, I really didn't care for the plot, not only was it predictable and lame but it took a while to get going. Then there was a weak script, that was filled to the brim with low-level humour and numerous clichés. To Paul Kaye's eccentric inventor and Mark William's police inspector, the film sometimes borders on being too stereotypical. The acting was okay at best, Frankie Muniz does his best reprising his cheeky and charming persona that he brought to the first movie, but let's face it, he was getting too old for the part. Anthony Anderson tries hard, but the humour here is so juvenile and generic that he can't do anything with it. The same goes with Anna Chancellor and Keith Allen, two very competent actors, but the weak material disallowed them to do anything worthwhile, so it was a waste of talent in the end. James Faulkner was merely okay, but he has been much better. The film also goes on for too long too, and further suffers from uneven pacing. All in all, a sequel that had potential, but falls surprisingly flat. 4/10 Bethany Cox
There have been several negative comments on this movie, namely on the
choice of casting, and on the quality of acting.
Firstly, I think choosing London as the setting was a brilliant idea (Though I am slightly biased). Not only could British people relate to the film, other countries would also find it interesting.
I also think that it was brilliant casting Hannah Spearritt to play Emily. She is an excellent actress, and suited the character well, and it only furthered her acting ability. I also think Frankie Muniz has matured so much since the first film, and seemed a lot more comfortable.
All in all, I thought it was an excellent film!
Frankie Muniz really does look 16 at almost-19! He and Anthony Anderson, who plays his CIA "handler" in this sequel, were obviously having fun making this campy tongue-in-cheek secret agent "thriller." This is a very simple movie -- there are no sub-plots, no complicated characters, no psychological complexities -- and I couldn't help but enjoy it. If you're willing, for a moment or two, to accept that a 16-y/o boy in the middle of an immense plush bed would tell a very attractive girl who comes to visit him in the morning to just leave him alone and go away, then you can enjoy it too! The silliness extends from the opening scene of a CIA "summer camp" for pint-size agents-in-training to Cody discovering that Scotland Yard has a junior agent program of their own. With all that, or perhaps in spite of all that, there's something so unassuming about Frankie Muniz that you WANT to join him in his far-fetched world. Even as a child actor he was never especially "pretty" in the way that so many of them are, so he really must have had, and continues to have, some talent. I hope he can carry the same relaxed aplomb into a successful adult career.
Fundamentally this a version of "Spy Kids". Except with out the charm and with all the fun removed. Frankie Muniz is not so much acting here as mugging for the camera - which is unfortunate because we need him to be interesting and entertaining and he fails to deliver. he's kind of posing and it definitely doesn't work - for me. Meanwhile the whole movie feels put together with out much care. It has no flow, it is strangely boring despite the action. Fundamentally this inertia comes down to Muniz and his one dimensional performance. Maybe I'm being harsh - maybe the director should be held accountable? I don't know. It's a humorless creation despite the odd fart and fluids gag. The best solution is to go rent Spy Kids, Robert Rodriguez has more soul, more energy, way more fun.
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