Frankie Muniz in Agent Cody Banks.
Agent Cody Banks is riding the wave of Spy Kids. Like Spy Kids, Agent Cody Banks is a James Bond film for the rated G age group. The difference is that Agent Cody Banks practically follows a standard James Bond plot from beginning to end.
The movie opens with a teaser. 15 year old Cody Banks on his way to school must save a child in a run away car. Using a stunt double and lots of camera work Banks skateboards to the rescue. You see, Cody Banks is a CIA agent. He went to summer camp for wannabe secret agents. His parents just thought it was a regular camp and have no knowledge of his after school job.
He gets assigned to transfer to another school so he can woo a girl his age, whose father is a scientist, who is dealing with some wanna-rule-the-world nut balls. The gimmick is that Cody Banks is an excellent agent except when it comes to girls. When he talks to girls he is a nervous buffoon.
Eventually he gets her to invite him to her birthday party at her home. Once at the party Banks makes like Bond. While wearing a jacket and tie he plays roulette as well as sneaks into the scientists lab by using gadgets given to him by a Q type at CIA HQ.
Frankie Muniz is a fine enough actor. I don't see him as having enough charm and presence to carry an entire movie though. Angie Harmon is damn fine as a fellow agent. She wears tight clothes better than most.
Where this movie surpasses Spy Kids is that there is a bit more tension and suspense. Not a lot more mind you, but enough to add some excitement. Banks gets beat up by the bad guy and even gets a nasty scratch on his face during the Bond-ish finale of the bad guys headquarters blowing up. The siblings from Spy Kids never even seem to get dirty, let alone seriously threatened.
My two sons loved this movie. As we ate dinner in McDonalds afterwards, they both said they wanted to be Cody Banks. That is a sure sign that this movie reached its target audience.
Photos © Copyright MGM (2003)