Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004)
“Adventure is an attitude.”
Director: Kevin Allen
Cast: Frankie Muniz, Anthony Anderson, Hannah Spearritt
Synopsis: With all-new gadgets, high-flying action, exciting chases and a wisecracking new handler, Derek, Cody has to retrieve the device before the world’s leaders fall under the evil control of a diabolical villain.
The fact that filming of this sequel to Agent Cody Banks (2003) commenced less than two months after the release of the original gives us some indication of the hastiness of the project. Perhaps they expected the first movie to be more of a hit — it made a respectable profit, but nothing more — but the speed with which the movie was made and released, and director Kevin Allen’s frank admission that it was pretty much filmed off the cuff, ensured that Destination London had no chance of matching the success of its predecessor.
Frankie Muniz returns as Banks, now a seasoned agent following his adventures from the first movie. He’s tasked with travelling to London undercover as a clarinettist with an international orchestra of child prodigies to locate former CIA trainer Diaz (Keith Allen, brother of the director), who has stolen a mind-control device which he plans to use, with the aid of British Lord Duncan Kenworth (James Faulkner), to control the world’s leaders. Kenworth is married to Lady Josephine (Anna Chancellor), the owner of the school attended by the talented young musicians.
Hilary Duff, who played Banks’s love interest in the first movie, has no part to play in the sequel, and is replaced by former S Club 7 singer Hannah Spearritt, although this time Cody enjoys no extra-curricular romantic activities with his leading lady. Also absent from the first movie is Banks’s curvaceous and super-efficient female handler, who is replaced by an overweight and incompetent black guy, played by Anthony Anderson, which confirms the suspicion that the producers are now aiming their product solely at the kids with no consideration given to their parents.
The humour is juvenile and the acting is strictly functional, which is understandable given the poor quality of the script the actors have to work with. And the producers compound their failings by shamelessly placing the products of their financial partners squarely in shot as often as they can. Only the film’s conclusion, in which the movie’s theme tune is combined with the orchestra’s spontaneous performance of the song ‘War’ in coordination with Cody’s fight with the bland villain Diaz, passes muster.