Nightlife

Agent Cody Banks 2 - Destination London

by Michael Fessenden
Contributor
Tuesday Jul 13, 2004
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Frankie Muniz returns in this sequel to the 2003 hit, Agent Cody Banks. This time around, he has a new handler and assignment. The film opens up with Cody at CIA summer training camp where the underage trainees are learning the finer skills such as martial arts, defusing of explosives and satellite surveillance. Soon, the CIA learns of a sinister plot to use a mind control device on world leaders and Cody finds himself undercover at an exclusive school for the musically gifted in London. Too bad he can’t play any instrumentsÖ

Lightening up on the over-the-top action of the first film, while ramping up on the comedy, the film should have enough to keep parentsí attentions until the closing credits. Anthony Anderson replaces Angie Harmon as Codyís handler, one of the CIAís more unorthodox agents. He gets a few laughs, but itís the teenage characters that are the most interesting and fun. The plot, as expected, is a little on the far-fetched side and despite being set in London, loses the Bond-esque feel of the first film.

The cast is likable enough, and of course there are the requisite brits breaking their stuffy demeanors near the end of the movie in order to show us that people in London are in fact cooler than they let on. Hannah Spearritt does a nice job as Emily, a Scotland Yard investigator also under cover at the school Cody is sent to and prominent British actress Anna Chancellor does a fun turn as the school headmistress.

All in all, kids will enjoy this the most. The gadgets are cool and violence very mild. There are some genuinely funny moments that donít descend into crassness as teen movies often do. Itís got some positive messages to teach as well, making a great movie for the whole family to watch.

The DVD has several nice features: making-of feature, deleted and extended scenes, a clever interactive quiz and an interactive commentary. Like the movie, these are pretty light but should appeal to the young ones.

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