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Movie Review

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London

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1 of 1 Wasted talent
Wasted talent

Directed by Kevin Allen, starring Frankie Muniz, Anthony Anderson, Hannah Spearritt, Anna Chancellor, Keith Allen, James Faulkner and Keith David.

He's back. He's older, maybe a little wiser and still in way over his head. Cody Banks (Muniz), the shining star of the CIA's juvenile recruitment policy, has just accidentally helped traitor agent Diaz (Allen) escape and must follow him to London to sort out the mess. That's the easy part, the hard one is passing himself off as a teen clarinet prodigy at the country home of scientist Duncan Kenworth (Faulkner) and his dotty, music-loving wife Jo (Chancellor).

Mr Kenworth is mixed up in Diaz's plan to use stolen software to brainwash world leaders, and now just Banks and the CIA's misfit in London Derek (Anderson) stand in their way. If Derek can manage not to blow their cover, and Banks can handle the rehearsals for a gala concert - and not arouse the suspicions of fellow student Emily (former S Club 7'er Spearritt) - maybe the world has a chance.

The original Cody Banks film had a very average script but plenty of potential, the sequel, however, fails to build on it, resulting in one seriously weak kids' movie. It was a surprise to hear last summer that as the first film was just making it into cinemas they were already making this one and '...Destination London' feels rushed, a series of thrown together set pieces and a plot that could only excite the very young.

The comic potential of an American in England is now threadbare (Prague? Mexico? It's a big globe out there) and the racial stereotypes trotted out here suggest the scriptwriters reckon Europe and the world is some kind of long-haul Middle Earth for US audiences. Even if you manage to stomach that, there's the added queasiness of seeing Muniz and Anderson, two good comic actors, waste themselves on situations that would be jaded on after school TV. If they're offered a third instalment they should run the other way. Very fast.

Harry Guerin

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