Double "O" Teen
Agent Cody Banks
Review by Ross Anthony

Fun and playful, the film fires onto the screen with youthful exuberance.

Trained by the CIA in secret during "summer camp" fronts, Cody (Muniz) can drive Agent Cody Banksa car up on two wheels, skateboard through a full pipe, and karate chop any given group of disorderlies; the only problem is -- he's weak in the knees around pretty girls. And that's exactly what his first assignment prescribes.

It's this fault that makes Banks so endearing, and keeps the film centered. Unfortunately at times it strays from its own innocence with surprisingly inappropriate dips into sexual innuendo. And then there are a couple of lulls. But, mostly, like "Spy Kids," "Banks" plays on secret agent movies of past Agent Cody Banksgenerations. There's nothing new in the plot progressions here. The fun has to be in watching young people play the roles. And for the most part -- it is fun.

Some highlights include: a "Blair Witch"-esque last transmission from an agitated CIA agent in immediate danger. Mr. Yen's driver's Ed class. And I enjoyed the skateboard chase to rescue a silly toddler in a runaway Volvo. Lastly, the music is punchy, appropriate and carries when visuals lag.

Muniz says, "I'd never done a big action character. I saw 'The Bourne Identity,' and Matt Damon has all these fight scenes where he beats up bad guys -- I kept thinkin', 'Wow, that's so awesome! I'll be doing those moves...' Helping girls, Saving the world, cool cars and gadgets -- it's all pretty awesome."

Producer Seller said he told his 8-year-old daughter Natalie about the film and she said, "You've just to get Lizzie McGuire. Dad, she's perfect!" Hence, Hilary Duff as "Natalie."

  • Agent Cody Banks. Copyright © 2003.
  • Starring Frankie Muniz, Hilary Duff, Angie Harmon, Keith David, Cynthia Stevenson, Arnold Vosloo, Ian McShane, Daniel Roebuck, Darrell Hammond.
  • Directed by Harold Zwart.
  • Screenplay by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz and Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski.
  • Story by Jeffrey Jurgensen.
  • Produced by David C. Glasser, Andreas Klein, Guy Oseary, Dylan Sellers, David Nicksay at MGM/Splendid/Maverick.

Grade (Kids)........................B+
Grade (Adults)......................B

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:21:05 PDT