A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this slick sequel to Agent Cody Banks features lots of cartoon-style action and humor. There's little more appealing to older kids, tweens, and teens than young heroes who are stronger, smarter, and more heroic than any of the adults in the film. Cody Banks and his lovely English teen counterpart are the clever kids who save the day when the well-being of the world is at stake. The usual exaggerated spy violence is almost nonstop: explosions, martial arts, chases, fights, and falls. Occasional potty jokes and insults are heard, along with a reference to being "pickled" from "meds." Profanity includes "suck," "ass," and "jackass." The film is heavy on product placement both visually and in dialogue.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz) is the superstar of the secret CIA training camp for spy kids. He helps the camp director escape in what he thinks is a simulation exercise. But it turns out that it was not a simulation. Diaz has escaped with the CIA's secret mind-control software. Cody has to go undercover as a member of an international classical music group for teens to track him down before he can gain control of the world's leaders at a meeting in London. Cody is assigned to work with Derek (Anthony Anderson). Cody gets an assortment of cool new gadgets, including a retainer wired to permit him to eavesdrop on the bad guys and a package of exploding Mentos mints. And he gets some unexpected help from Derek, who turns out to have some talent as a spy (and a chef), and from a pretty British undercover operative (Hannah Spearritt) as well. In addition to using the gadgets and tracking the bad guys, Cody has to pretend to play the clarinet. When he gets spotted by Diaz, he is used as the guinea pig for the mind-control device implanted in his tooth.
Is it any good?
This movie doesn’t have anywhere near the imagination and wit of the Spy Kids movies, but it is a pleasantly diverting adventure for a too-often-neglected segment of the audience. Muniz has an appealing screen presence, and Anthony Anderson is up to his usual shtick. The action sequences are only fair, but there is one scene with exploding water containers that is a lot of fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what Diaz says to Cody: "Trust equals death. Trust nobody -- including me." Why did he say that? How do we know who deserves our trust?
Howo do you think Agent Cody Banks 2 compares with the original film?
What do Cody and Derek learn from each other?
- In theaters: March 12, 2004
- On DVD or streaming: July 13, 2004
- Cast: Anthony Anderson, Frankie Muniz, Hannah Spearritt
- Director: Kevin Allen
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: action violence and some crude humor.
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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