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AGENT CODY BANKS 2: DESTINATION LONDON

Starring: Frankie Muniz, Anthony Anderson, Hannah Spearitt
Director: Kevin Allen
Rated: PG

It is a rare sequel that is better than the original, but Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London is.

But that’s not saying all that much. Given the success of Agent Cody Banks 1 the producers have thrown even more money at this film and it shows.

Not that the story is any better, or that the acting has improved, but Kevin Allen’s directing of the action sequences is good, and Richard Holland’s production designs, sets and locations raise the bar for a teen flick.

This time around teen agent Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz) is packed off to summer camp by his unsuspecting mum and dad.

The CIA, however, runs this summer school for child spies.

While at camp Commander Diaz (Keith Allan) turns on the USA and steals a top secret plan for mind control which is being perfected by the evil Lord Kenworth (James Faulkner) in England.

Cody is sent to London to stop Kenworth and Diaz by joining an international youth orchestra based at the lord’s country estate.

Maybe one of the ways they paid for this film was through the product placement. Various companies must have paid large amounts for the exposure of their brands. Shameful in a kid’s film.

Worst of all this time around is the caricature of the English. There is not a cliche left unused about them in Cody Banks 2. They are made out to be silly, prissy and eccentric.

And even if the English can forgive the Americans for the racial stereotyping, they could never forgive the fact that Big Ben strikes the hour even though we see the famous clock’s face in the background telling us it is 4.20. How can such an expensive film have such bad continuity?

There is some unintended humour, too, like the motorcade driving into Buckingham Palace to see the Queen, but the shot is held long enough for us to see it drive past the (closed) front gates.

Or the famous conductor of the orchestra who handles a baton as though he is having an epileptic seizure.

With the obligatory palace dance sequence, and some decent look-alikes for the Queen and Prime Minister, but curiously not for the US President, the ending is predictable and upbeat.

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