Movies like “Agent Cody Banks 2” allow me to break out the old adage: “It is what it is”. And if you happen to like what it is, then you’ll like this movie. But if you find what it is not to your liking, it’s a good idea not to bother with it. Hence, if you do not like what it is, but is still foolhardy enough to watch it, it is entirely your fault for not liking it. You knew what it was going in, so there’s no use complaining about it afterwards.
“Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London” brings back teen CIA agent Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz), this time sent overseas to London. His mission: find and capture Diaz (Keith Allen), a rogue CIA agent who stole the agency’s mind-controlling research and has now joined up with evil British lord Kenworth (James Faulkner) to do, well, the type of evil stuff that evil guys do in spy films. In London, Banks teams up with exiled agent Derek (Anthony Anderson) and British hottie Emily (Hannah Spearritt), who as it turns out is also a secret agent.
Actually, that last part concerning Spearritt’s character isn’t made clear until about an hour into the film, but since the movie’s trailer already gave the secret away, what’s the point in hiding it in this review?
“Agent Cody Banks 2” is the sequel to “Agent Cody Banks”, a semi-successful movie starring Muniz and Hilary Duff as his love interest. (In Hollywood parlance, any degree of success is enough to warrant a sequel.) Keith David returns as Banks’ boss, but Angie Harmon is sorely missed. British pop singer Hannah Spearritt (whose last name, I might add, is terribly hard to keep typing) tries mightily to fill in the gap left by Harmon and Duff.
Since Spearritt is actually in her early ’20s and Muniz is a late teen, the film wisely doesn’t force a kissing relationship between the two junior agents. The closest they come to being love interests is a peck on the cheek at the end of the film. A better idea might have been to introduce the British equivalent of the CIA’s junior agents. Why cast someone as old as Spearritt in the first place? It couldn’t have been that difficult to find someone Muniz’s age to play his British counterpart. It seems like such a no-brainer, doesn’t it?
The comedy bits are provided by an outrageous Anthony Anderson, who has done the jokester role in every movie he’s been in. Not surprisingly, “London” is most upbeat when Anderson is around doing his shtick, and bogs down when Banks is impersonating a musical virtuoso in order to get close to Faulkner’s evil mastermind. The filmmakers must have realized what Anderson contributes to the film as well, because Anderson’s Derek has almost as much screentime as star Muniz, not to mention all the good lines.
I won’t go into too many details about “Agent Cody Banks 2”. It’s a fantasy action adventure film for kids and teens too young to get “Kill Bill”. If you fit into that category, you’ll love this movie. It’s filled with action and the lead character gets to do all the things kids his age dream about — that is, playing spy, beating up adults, and cavorting with a hot blonde girl. It’s every male kid’s dream, but adults will probably spend their time rolling their eyes or muttering ridiculously to themselves.
“Agent Cody Banks 2” is what it is. If you don’t like what it is, don’t bother with it. If you do, or don’t particularly dislike what it is, then it’s not a bad way to waste 95 minutes of free time. The film’s score on IMDB.com is ridiculously low, more as a result of the wrong demographic watching the film and then being angry that they fooled themselves into watching it in the first place. You have to take films as they are, because doing otherwise would be utterly ridiculous. You, that is, not the movie.
It is what it is. ‘Nuff said.
Kevin Allen (director)
CAST: Frankie Muniz …. Cody Banks
Anthony Anderson …. Derek
Hannah Spearritt …. Emily
Keith David …. C.I.A. Director