Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E dir Kevin Allen
scr Don Rhymer
with Frankie Muniz, Anthony Anderson, Hannah Spearritt, Keith Allen, Anna Chancellor, James Faulkner, Keith David, David Kelly, Cynthia Stevenson, Daniel Roebuck, Rod Silvers, Julian Firth, Paul Kaye, Mark Williams, James Dreyfus, Damien Hirst
release US 12.Mar.04, UK 26.Mar.04
04/UK 1h40

The rickshaw London tour: Spearritt and Muniz

muniz anderson chancellor

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Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Support Shadows: Buy a Poster
The first Cody Banks adventure was one of those guilty pleasures, a kids' movie intelligent enough for adults to enjoy as a spy movie spoof. Alas, this sequel has a new crew sadly lacking in that level of inventiveness or energy. As the title states, this adventure takes place in Britain, where teen CIA agent Cody (Muniz) is summoned from summer camp to track down a rogue operative (played by the director's brother Keith) who has stolen some mind-control software. Cody's UK handler is the goofy Derek (Anderson), and his cover is a musical workshop hosted by the wealthy Kenworths (Chancellor and Faulkner). Can Cody stop the bad guy from taking over the brains of the world's top leaders?

There's nothing wrong with the plot, and the London setting is great. But British filmmakers should know better than to fall for every stereotype, not to mention placing a London landmark improbably in the background of virtually every shot. If this had been done with a whiff of charm or wit, we wouldn't mind. But the film does the unforgivable, condescending to its audience as if the kids wouldn't get it unless everything was laid out on a plate. This is something the first film smartly avoided; this sequel is virtually unwatchable for grow-ups.

Fortunately, Muniz is a thoroughly engaging young actor, and Anderson obviously enjoys his zany sidekick role. There's a number of cameos by gifted British comics who are high-profile back home but unrecognisable in the States. So it seems strange that all of them (except perhaps Williams) are lost in cliched, uninteresting roles. And the returning cast members are wasted as well--David's CIA director isn't nearly as oily, parents Stevenson and Roebuck just seem dopey now. Even the budding romance between Muniz and English rose Spearritt feels undercooked and predictable. This is a huge shame, since the first film was both smart and hilarious. It's far too soon to cash in on the franchise.

cert PG language, vulgarity, some violence 7.Mar.04

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... agent cody banks 2 Danielle Harfield, England: 5/5 "Definately one to watch. The acting wasn't special however their was someone who stood out to me, his name was Kumar. He was a taxi driver who helped transport Cody and Agent Derek. this movie was of outstanding Quality and so were the cast." (28.Mar.04)
2004 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall