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Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004) "How come I get a retainer and a clarinet, and James Bond gets an Aston Martin?" whines 16-year-old superspy Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz). Well, for… 2004-03-12 PG PT100M Comedy Frankie Muniz Anthony Anderson Daniel Roebuck MGM
Movie Review

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004)

MPAA Rating: PG

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Frankie Muniz, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London | YOU CAN 'BANK' ON IT His voice is never going to change if he keeps doing splits like that
YOU CAN 'BANK' ON IT His voice is never going to change if he keeps doing splits like that
EW's GRADE
C-

Details Release Date: Mar 12, 2004; Rated: PG; Length: 100 Minutes; Genre: Comedy; With: Frankie Muniz; Distributor: MGM

''How come I get a retainer and a clarinet, and James Bond gets an Aston Martin?'' whines 16-year-old superspy Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz). Well, for starters, Cody, you've got no charisma, no style, and, mercifully, no seduction on your résumé. In that way, he's got a lot in common with real spies, the hollow-eyed android types unencumbered by personality. This time out, in Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, Cody's in the U.K. chasing after a mind-control device, which might sound nifty to kids who think the Manchurian Candidate is a take-out option. But London itself is so indifferently filmed (and its residents so indifferently stereotyped), it might as well be Toronto. Anthony Anderson does little to help, cuffed as he is by the ''handler'' (read: Man Friday) role. (Nyuk-nyuk attempts to equate English classism with American racism careen toward the offensive.)

At bottom, there's just too much spy in young Cody, and too little kid. The writers might've taken (another) page from the ''Spy Kids'' playbook and infused the action with youth relevance -- e.g., why not have the mind-control doohickey afflict Cody with snotty Anglophilia and an affected accent? (Producer Madonna could double as dialect coach.) That's what most kids bring back from England, not exploding Mentos.

Originally posted Mar 10, 2004 Published in issue #756 Mar 19, 2004 Order article reprints