Agent Cody Banks
2: Destination London - Special Edition
Frankie Muniz, Anthony Anderson, Hannah Spearritt
MGM Home Entertainment
Date: July 13, 2004
Review posted: June 23, 2004
Foreign affairs get kid-tested when Agent Cody Banks heads to
England on the tail of an evil scientist who’s stolen a
mind-control device for his plot to rule the world! Posing as a
student at an elite boarding school, the CIA’s most junior spy
(Muniz) teams up with London’s hottest spy (Anderson) to stop a
madman bent on turning world leaders into zombies!
Agent Cody Banks 2
succeeds in doing what every sequels should strive to do: it stands
alone, as its own film, so that having seen the first film is not a
requirement for enjoying the sequel. There is nothing “left over”
from the original to stand in the way of the character’s evolution,
and we can start fresh with a new adventure.
starts off fast, as we find Agent Banks at camp. To the outside
world, Cody is having fun at Kamp Woody, but it is actually a training
camp for kid secret agents. When head counselor Diaz (Kevin Allen)
stages an elaborate disappearing act, Agent Banks finds that he must
go off to London to track him down. The way the city is used as
another character in the film is one of the best aspects of the
movie. From the London Eye to Piccadilly Circus to the double-decker
busses and the wild moped chase through the streets of the city, the
city is presented here in a beautiful light. London gets the kind of
treatment in this film that inspires tourism.
arrival in London, Cody meets up with his new handler, Derek
(Anderson), the consummately urban agent who is more of a kid than
Cody. Derek is one example of many of how much this film relies on
stereotypes. Derek is the typical urban black man we have seen a
million times, who dresses the part, and whose favorite “spy gadget”
is the booming stereo system. When he is masquerading as a chef at
Cody’s prep school, one of the kids tells him how good the dish he has
prepared is, he tells them that in America, “we say it is, ‘straight
out of Compton,’” and we all get a laugh out of the stuffy British
kids who say “straight out of Compton” to show how much they like the
meal. The kids this movie is aimed at might not catch on, but it is
one of the more glaring aspects of the movie.
aside, the relationship between Cody and Derek is well portrayed.
Derek is a kid at heart, and Agent Banks is a kid so immersed in the
world, in being a secret agent, that he has forgotten how to be a
kid. In the way Cody is so blinded by his profession, I was reminded
of Grosse Pointe Blank, though this film is nowhere near as
bleak in its view of the world. Cody and Derek balance each other
well, and their relationship is the warm core of the film.
performances are well done throughout the film. Hannah Spearlitt is
fantastic as Cody’s English counterpart, and Kevin Allen brings the
sinister Diaz to frightening life, the evil megalomaniac whose goal is
to replace the London skyline with a giant statue of himself. The
actors all seem to be having a blast and are aiming to please. They
are the best thing about the movie.
film, I kept wondering who this film was aimed at. It seems a bit too
adult for most younger viewers, too childish for most adult viewers,
and there is little that would seem to be of interest for anyone in
between. This is perhaps the biggest problem plaguing most films
aimed at a younger audience, and it is certainly the biggest problem
with this film. Agent Cody Banks 2 is not a bad film; the
filmmakers certainly want the viewer to be entertained. Just who
the viewer would be seems to be the one question they never quite
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect
ratio, and the transfer is sharp. The black levels are well done
and there is no grain to the image. The visual quality also comes
through in the Visual Commentary and in the interactive quiz,
where the image pauses without degradation. Subtitles are
available in English, French, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.
This disc also features a fullscreen version of the film.
Agent Cody Banks 2
is presented in 5.1 Surround, with stereo surround tracks in
Spanish and French. The audio presentation is crisp, with the
sound effects coming though sharply. The whole presentation is
The bonus material is probably
the best thing about this DVD, and they give a comprehensive
picture of how the film came to be. There are far better films
that do not get half the bonus treatment that this film gets.
Mode” Interactive Quiz:
an interesting feature to test your knowledge of all things Cody. As
you watch the film, it pauses in points and asks questions about the
story, the characters and other aspects of the film.
“Spy On the
Set” Visual Cast Commentary:
a clever, if not annoying feature, and similar to the interactive
quiz. In lieu of audio commentary, when this feature is selected, the
film pauses in points, and Muniz, Anderson and Spearritt – alone or in
unison – will walk into frame and talk about the scene. This does not
happen for every scene, and the trivial tidbits they give are rarely
worth stopping the show for.
Action” Featurette: a
promotional-style featurette, not unlike something you might find on
HBO or Entertainment Tonight, it goes into how the sequel came
to be, its relation to the original film, and how the characters have
evolved. They discuss the location, how the city of London became
another character in the movie, and how they chose the locations. We
hear from the director, the producer, and the stars of the show.
Scenes: interesting for
the curious, but it is clear that the decision was made early on not
to include these scenes. They are not finished. The picture is
grainy, the sound unrefined, the green screen has not been replaced.
Their exclusion does not cause the film to lose anything, but they are
fun to watch.
Gallery: promotional and
behind-the-scenes photos from the production.
Theatrical Trailer: as
trailers go, this one is pretty good. If I had kids and I saw this, I
would think about taking them to see the movie.
is quite a bit of bonus material here, enough to answer most questions
that you might have about Agent Cody Banks 2. The sheer
quantity makes up for any lapses in quality.
Agent Cody Banks 2
might be entertaining the first time, but it does not seem to hold up
a much deeper examination than that. The DVD itself was given the
star treatment, but the film is mired in the cliché and never seems to
VERDICT: RENT IT
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