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Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London

Genre: , ,

Cast: Frankie Muniz, Hannah Spearritt, Daniel Roebuck, Anthony Anderson, Cynthia Stevenson, Keith David

Director: Kevin Allen

Rated: PG

Release Date: July 13th, 2004
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Overall Grade: D

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London

Review By: Staff

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London

Thank God for Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, the sequel that, at long last, answers all the unresolved questions from the original Agent Cody Banks.

Questions such as: What's worse? A) The setup"”an annoying teenager is also an undercover CIA agent; or B) The execution"”every joke falls with a thud, and the action will bore even the dumbest of children?

The original Cody Banks might have provided some family fun, but the sequel is good for only one thing: punishment. Parents, listen up. Compulsory viewing of Cody Banks is more effective than grounding, spanking, or quiet-time. If little Johnny won't make his bed or do his homework, make him watch ten minutes of Cody Banks 2. Trust me"”he'll change his ways.

For those of you unfamiliar with this budding franchise, Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz) is part of a unique branch of the CIA"”all of the agents are still going through puberty. He gets to use cool James Bond-esque gadgets and is always the key player in a save-the-world type adventure.

This time around, Cody hops the pond to London, where he goes undercover as a gifted clarinet player so that he can infiltrate a conference of world leaders. (Huh? Right.) The GBGs"”Generic Bad Guys"”have developed a mind-control device that they plan to use on the world leaders. For unexplained reasons, the GBGs can only use the mind-control device at this all-important conference, so it's up to Cody to save the day.

If this sounds familiar, it's because the exact same plot was used, to far greater comic effect, in the original Naked Gun. Remember the baseball game and "I. Must. Kill. The. Queen" and Reggie Jackson? The whole storyline is a cheap knockoff.

That's the problem with this limp noodle: Cody Banks offers nothing new. The James Bond jokes have been done in Austin Powers, the kid-spy stuff has been done in, well, Spy Kids, and the confused-American-in-London-shtick is well-worn territory. Generic plots aren't the end of the world, but they must be overcome by quirky details or appealing characters. Cody Banks 2 has neither.

The supporting cast suffers from the loss of Hillary Duff and Angie Harmon, leaving only Cody's new partner Derek (Anthony Anderson) to pick up the slack. Anderson is a gifted comedian, but given the awful material, there's only so much he can do. The token love interest, Emily (Hannah Spearritt), who is a fellow kid-spy-undercover-musician, has no chemistry with Cody, not even of the G-rated variety.

How bad are the jokes? In one scene, a cell-phone rings, interrupting a dinner party. Everyone at the table takes out their cell-phones and looks at them in confusion, each person thinking that their own phone rang. Hah!

In another scene, Cody is being instructed on how to fire some secret gadget. The teacher accidentally lights the floor on fire, but doesn't notice, and tells Cody that, "You press this button to fire." "Fire!" Cody exclaims. "Yes, exactly" says the instructor. "No, I mean there's really a fire!" At this point, little Johnny is desperately wishing he took out the trash.

The special features include deleted scenes and a silly interactive quiz, just in case parents need additional materials for punishment.

Movie Grade: D

DVD Grade: B-

Overall Grade: C

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