`Cody' returns, boringly

MovieReview

March 12, 2004|By NEWSDAY

Any resemblance Agent Cody Banks: Destination London bears to the original Cody Banks is purely wishful thinking. That first film was an unexpected lark, a pint-sized spoof of the James Bond spy flicks that fulfilled the demands of the action genre while comically acknowledging the frustrations of being a suave secret agent trapped in a tween body.

After a promising opening segment that plunks the teen-age CIA ace (Frankie Muniz) in a summer camp for budding agents, Destination London descends into a painfully unfunny series of comic stunts.

Cody is on a mission to stop a CIA agent with plans for a mind-control machine. Anthony Anderson plays a CIA operative named Derek assigned to protect Cody. He disguises himself as a prize American chef at the British school for musical prodigies where Cody conceals his identity as a clarinetist.

Derek can't cook, Cody can't play the clarinet. And the merriment ensues? Not.

Destination London was directed by Kevin Allen (Twin Town), another promising European director eaten alive by the jaws of Tinsel Town.

Newsday is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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