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Agent Cody Banks

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Agent Cody Banks

Starring: Frankie Muniz, Angie Harmon
Director: Harald Zwart
Rated: PG
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: March 2003
Genres: Action, Comedy, Kids

*Also starring: Ian McShane, Martin Donovan, Arnold Vosloo, Hilary Duff, Darrell Hammond, Andrew Francis

Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

With a touch of "Spy Kids," a dollop of "Mission Impossible" and a dash of James Bond, Freddie Muniz ("Malcolm in the Middle") plays a smart, resourceful Seattle 15 year-old, Cody Banks, who's an undercover government operative. Unbeknownst to his parents, he was part of an elite CIA Agent Development Program which covertly trained youngsters in the guise of summer camp, preparing them to be sent on secret missions. The story opens with Cody's spontaneous, heroic skateboard rescue of a toddler in a runaway car. Hop to Hong Kong, where an unsuspecting scientist (Martin Donovan) has devised microscopic robots that villains (Ian McShane, Arnold Vosloo) plan to use to undermine the defense of the United States. Cody is recruited to befriend the reclusive scientist's adolescent daughter Natalie (Hilary Duff of "Lizzie McGuire") to gain access to the laboratory where the ferocious nanobots are encased in ice cubes. "This isn't secret agent Little League anymore," Cody's told, and sexy Angie Harmon is assigned as his handler. "It's my job to make sure you do your job," she purrs. He's also given gadgets like a special cellphone, watch, skateboard, glasses and $5,000 - for expenses. Plus a team of CIA experts is assigned to do his household chores and homework so his unsuspecting family won't get suspicious. Problem is: Cody's tongue-tied around girls. But when Natalie's kidnapped and held prisoner in a Cascade Mountain fortress, Cody jumps on a jet-powered snowboard to save her - along with the world. Director Harald Zwart and his team of writers score with fast-paced fun, if scant originality. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Agent Cody Banks" is a cool, engaging 8, designed to entertain and delight its young audience.

Copyright 2003 Susan Granger

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