Eye For Film >> Movies >> Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004) Film Review
Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London
Reviewed by: David Stanners
This time around our precocious young spy - agent Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz) - is sent from training Camp Woody (what a cringingly American name) to London, where the training camp boss, Captain Diaz (Keith Allen) has been in cahoots with Lord Kenworth (James Faulkner), a wily British scientist with plums in his mouth and a plan to take over the world by means of his new invention: an ingenious mind-controlling device.
To stymie this evil grand plan, the director of the CIA (Keith David) places Banks in a plush English music school for gifted children, run by Kenworth's wife Josephine (Anna Chancellor). Without an ounce of musical talent, Banks just about manages to dupe all concerned with his magical clarinet, electronically programmed to play Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight Of The Bumblebee. In his spare time he and his undercover right-hand man, big Derek (Anthony Anderson) - posing as a pastry chef - try to botch Kenworth and Diaz's joint efforts to install mind-altering chips in the heads of government leaders around the world.
Along the way, Banks meets promising musician, Emily (Hannah Spearritt), who takes an instant shine to him. It turns out she's also in the espionage game - working on the British side. They both fancy each other, they both kiss and they both have a hand - alongside big Derek - in pulling the plug on Kenworth and Diaz's mind game finale at Buckingham Palace, where Tony Blair and Queen lookalikes are in attendance.
Okay, this is a film for kids - probably under 12s - but, regardless of how hard you try to get yourself into a child's mindset, it's still a bit of a cringer. The idea is fine and quite aptly timed: what could be better than manipulating George Bush and Tony Blair's minds in recent days gone by? But the execution is lacking in wit and imagination. It's typically American in its perception of British stateliness and despite being a comedy of sorts, it's really not funny. There are plenty of films aimed at kids that adults can enjoy. Usually they transcend the age barrier with an imaginative script and good comedy value. But this doesn't really have either.
Frankie Muniz isn't a bad kid Bond, but on the whole the acting is a bit hammy. There's a fast-food feel to it, as if it was rushed through the Hollywood grinder without much attention to scripting or comic timing.
Then again, maybe all the good bits were packed into the first instalment. Shame I missed it.Reviewed on: 25 Mar 2004