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March 2004

By Godfrey Powell
Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London
Distributor: MGM
Directed by: Kevin Allen
Produced by: Don Rhymer
Cast: Frankie Muniz, Anthony Anderson, Keith David, Keith Allen, Anna Chencellor


Agent Cody Banks is back! Having had a rousing (and surprising) success in the first film, the boy spy returns to kick butt in London. Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz) is now a youthful looking 16-year old attending a summer camp. In actuality, the camp is a training ground for non-legal age secret agents of the CIA. After his parents drop him off however, the training mission Cody is assigned to becomes the real thing.

Apparently a rogue CIA agent has stolen mind control software and has run off to London. In London, he meets up with a millionaire megalomaniac who plans to takeover the world by implanting the software device in the world leaders at the upcoming G-7 meeting. Once the devices are implemented, the millionaire can rule the world! Cody Bank's assignment? ell, to pose as a clarinet playing member of an international elite youth orchestra of which the megalomaniac's wife is the director. From there Cody Banks is to turn on his spy game, learn the intricacies of the evil plan and then thwart the scheming rogue.

Once in London, Special Agent Banks needs a 'handler', someone who can guide Agent Banks. Enter exiled Agent Derek (Anthony Anderson). Having previously botched a mission, Derek has been sent to London to be a free agent which means riding around in a pimped out black sedan and doing nothing. But this mission provides the means upon which Derek can get back in the good graces of the CIA and back into the field of active agents. Together the duo finagles and stumbles into a climatic rousing sing song orchestrated orchestra performance that saves the day.

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London is a wonderfully clean, silly, depthless film for the 8 to 12 year old set. I found myself thinking about how much I would have enjoyed this film as a member of that age group years ago. The film abounds with Anthony Anderson playing his bumbling clumsy yet lovable self. Frankie Muniz is rather smallish and underwhelming for me as a secret agent but he has a likable quality. Of course the most entertaining parts are the wonderful secret gadgets such as an exploding roll of Mentos and a mouth retainer/listening device. Cool explosions and exaggerated cartoonish characterizations add to the James Bond Lite appeal of the movie.