Main cast: Frankie Muniz (Cody Banks), Anthony Anderson (Derek), Hannah Spearritt (Emily), Anna Chancellor (Jo Kenworth), Keith Allen (Diaz), and Keith David (CIA Director)
Director: Kevin Allen
You have no idea how uneasy I get when I realize that nearly two-thirds of the people that find the review of the original Agent Cody Banks movie through the search engine are looking for “Frankie Muniz shirtless” or a variation of thereof. Why would people even want to see that skinny young man with the overlarge head shirtless? But these people may be interested to know that Frankie Muniz has a scene where you perverts can see his ribcage indentations for about half a second. Now go knock yourselves out.
Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London however is a joyless sequel that has very little of the original movie’s charms, of which there aren’t many in the first place. The problem is that an underdog Cody Banks can be charming, but a top dog Cody Banks, which he is in this movie, is just a smug, whiny brat that complains too much, sort of like the TV character that shot Muniz to fame minus the effective one-liners.
This time around, Cody Banks, the top spy in the CIA kiddie division, is attending Camp Karmody, a CIA training camp for kiddie spies, when he accidentally abets the camp counselor Diaz into fleeing to London with a disc containing a program to control other people’s minds. He thinks that he’s just leading the kids in a mock training program. To his dismay, the CIA boss tells him otherwise. Now, Cody has to masquerade as a clarinet prodigy to live with a group of exchange students scheduled to perform at the Buckingham Palace for the G7 meeting. Why is he doing this? The exchange students are supervised by the woman whose husband is the person Diaz is making contact with. Aiding Cody is fellow spy Derek, who is just the six thousandth incarnation of the bumbling and loud big-sized sidekick that Anthony Anderson makes a career out of playing.
Very little of this movie feels fun. The punchlines fall flat too many times, but the unfunny jokes are just the beginning of this movie’s problems. The fight scenes are ineptly choreographed and the acting is hopelessly flat. Frankie Muniz is the biggest culprit when it comes to bad acting as he pretty much just mouths his lines with a pinched-face expression throughout the entire movie. Then again, I don’t blame him. How old is he? Way too old, I suspect, to be playing ultra-nauseatingly cutesy movies targeted at the under-thirteen year old demographics. Apart from a sly reference to, er, the processing of illegal chemical substances using a knife, nothing in this movie remotely touches the hormonal rumblings and adolescent angst that sixteen-year old Cody Banks should be experiencing.
With very little to appeal to the child within me, this one is merely a perfunctory cash-in sequel that merely go through the motions in being a movie. There should be many more alternative fun movies geared to the young-at-heart out there, I’m sure.