Urban Cinefile
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet  

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

AGENT CODY BANKS 2: DESTINATION LONDON

SYNOPSIS:
After discovering that his CIA contact Diaz (Kevin Allen) is a traitor who has stolen a powerful new mind control device, sixteen-year-old secret agent Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz) has to go undercover in London to find out what Diaz is up to. He’s assigned a new handler, Derek (Anthony Anderson) and a false identity as a member of an international youth orchestra – even though he can’t play a note.


Review by Jake Wilson:
Talk about political subversion. Considering that they must have been shooting about a year ago, it took some balls for director Keith Allen and writer Don Rhymer to make a mainstream kids’ film which centres on a plot by the CIA to brainwash the President, and ends with a gathering of world leaders rocking out to the sounds of “War – What Is It Good For?” 

Unhappily, this is where the interest of Agent Cody Banks 2 begins and ends. James Bond for the tweens, the Cody Banks series is not a patch on the manic invention of Spy Kids 1 and 2 (before Robert Rodriguez plunged into 3D disaster). Perhaps the routine adventures would be more thrilling if Cody wasn’t such a joyless smart-arse; none of the dangers he confronts ever manage to wipe off his you-can’t-faze-me smirk. 

Frankie Muniz only gets a few opportunities to show off his precocious talents as a slightly inhuman physical comic in the tradition of Mickey Rooney – as when Cody is hypnotised by the villains and finally loses his cool, starting a food fight for no apparent reason. As in the recent What A Girl Wants (this film’s feminine equivalent) Britain is imagined as a never-never land of heritage buildings and tea-slurping aristocrats – though the panache of the English eccentric has certainly faded since the glory days of Margaret Rutherford and Alastair Sim. 

Only the plaintive London accent of junior pop star Hannah Spearitt, as Cody’s tomboy sparring partner, strikes an authentic note. I couldn’t help feeling that the producers might have got a much more interesting and nuanced film if they’d troubled to employ a British screenwriter –particularly given the long history of British children’s entertainment (mainly on TV) which respects its audience enough to go beyond cartoonish hijinks. While Allen himself is Welsh, I couldn’t spot any traces of personality carried over from his unpleasant debut feature Twin Town, a sub-Guy-Ritchie crime caper set in Swansea; but this is probably just as well.

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

AGENT CODY BANKS 2: DESTINATION LONDON (PG)
(US)

CAST: Frankie Muniz, Hannah Spearritt, Anthony Anderson, Daniel Roebuc, Keith Allen, Anna Chancellor, Keith David

PRODUCER: David Glasser, Andreas Klein, David Nicksay, Guy Oseary, Dylan Sellers

DIRECTOR: Kevin Allen

SCRIPT: Harald Zwart

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Denis Crossan

EDITOR: Andrew MacRitchie

MUSIC: Mark Thomas

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Richard Holland

RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 18, 2004

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: MGM

VIDEO RELEASE: September 15, 2004







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017