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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.59%
Worth A Look: 5.88%
Pretty Bad: 11.76%
Total Crap: 20.59%

2 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Agent Cody Banks
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by Kevin Thomas

"It’s not Goldeneye, but it’s not Johnny English."
3 stars

Given that Frankie Muniz is a multi-millionaire with more cars than I have shoes (admittedly, not very difficult), stars in the best Simpsons rip off comedy there is and has, more importantly, kissed Hilary Duff, I don’t think anyone could hold it against me for disguising my jealously with pure, seething hatred of him and everything associated with him. I mean, surely it is acceptable? Purely out of principle?

Sadly, it’s hard to hate this movie. Let there be absolutely no illusions here, this is predictable, unimaginative, formulaic kiddy fodder. But, it’s, like, whoa…cool, dude. It’s every boys dream to spend a day in the life of James Bond (admittedly, it’s most mens dream too, leading to numerous bathroom mirror seductions with a toothbrush martini in hand), so this is a real ‘lowest common denominator’ kind of affair.

It is the story of Cody Banks; a teenage boy targeted by the CIA for a training programme to convert them into teen spies. There’s some reason for it somewhere down the line, but nothing could actually justify such a ludicrous premise. But, again, this isn’t trying to win Oscars, this is trying to shut the kids up for an hour and a half, and ten year olds are not renowned for their ability to dismiss a movie based upon poor plot and character development. Cody’s first mission is to get close to Hilary Duff (who proves her real acting range by again playing a character who is essentially Lizzie McGuire), because her father (good guy) makes little robots that are going to be used for evil things by some reject from the James Bond school of boring bad guys. But here’s the meat of the movie; he can’t talk to girls to save his life.

To be fair, the movie is certainly not terrible. There are a few laughs (watching Muniz stutter in front of girls is genuinely funny), the action scenes are passable and, for a PG rated movie, many bad guys meet very nasty demises and there is a LOT of cleavage. It is also refreshingly restrained in the area of how much toilet humour is used to disguise lack of script, and even the gaping plot holes are forgivable given how much of a feeling of overall fun goes through the movie. That said, it is very much a kids film, and the fun on offer is very childish. You will definitely only enjoy it if you reawaken your inner child for an hour and a half, otherwise, the idea of having the secret service do your chores might not be quite so entertaining.

The bad guys are shallow, the humour is dumb, the plot is ridiculous and absolutely none of it will come as a surprise, but even so, there is something simply fun about the whole affair. More importantly, the little brat you are babysitting WILL shut up for the duration, and you will instantly become ‘the coolest’ as soon as the credits roll to Junk’s ‘Life is Good’ (which rounds off an unimaginative, yet ear pleasing soundtrack), and that’s worth anyone’s £3.50.

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originally posted: 04/16/04 08:54:49
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User Comments

8/27/08 Shaun Wallner Ugg boring!! 2 stars
4/07/08 Alex bad. 1 stars
4/06/08 superfriek Why the heck did I watch this 1 stars
4/02/06 JRE why? again 2 stars
2/06/06 Anthony Feor Nothing too new or interesting 3 stars
12/30/04 tatum As formulaic as the recent Bond films; Duff is awful! 2 stars
8/14/04 rachael the movie was great and stop ragging on hilary. no one wants the negative comments. 4 stars
6/10/04 Chris The two leads both do a supurb job of sucking the life out of the movie, 1 stars
4/02/04 re a great film 5 stars
2/15/04 Jingo P. Duff and Munez need to be STOPPED before their dark reign spreads! STAND FIRM!!! 1 stars
12/25/03 anonymous Hilary's no beauty without all of her makeup 4 stars
10/24/03 Kae Shitty, Frankie is okay, Hilary another bitch poser "actress". She sucks, the movie sucks! 1 stars
9/20/03 Scott Olausen This movie is awesome because it has hilary duff in it. 5 stars
8/29/03 Ashley You and Frankie need to get back together 4 real 5 stars
8/20/03 nr AWESOME 5 stars
7/30/03 Alastair Hill Hilary Duff is soooooooooo buff, she was wicked, so was the film though! 5 stars
5/13/03 olivia great 5 stars
4/16/03 Lazlo MacGuire Incredibly average Bond ripoff for "tweens", but Hilary Duff's a beauty. Long may she reign 3 stars
3/30/03 HE A GREAT FILM 5 stars
3/17/03 Andrew Carden Contrived, Unfunny, and Tediously Overblown Kiddie Flick. Muniz is AWFUL. 1 stars
3/11/03 Kyle A bit below average kiddy fare. 2 stars
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  14-Mar-2003 (PG)
  DVD: 28-Mar-2006



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