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:: Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London

The first Agent Cody Banks film was an enjoyable enough teen Bond adventure, but this inevitable sequel appears rushed and lacks much of the original's winning style. The plot this time around is more trivial, and lacks some of
that teen angst humour that gave it its edge.

Much more comfortable with his status as a junior CIA agent now, Cody is dispatched to London on the trail of his mentor (Keith Allen), a rogue agent who has stolen a top-secret mind control device. Cody's cover is as a member of an international youth orchestra, and he has to juggle the demands of his mission with trying to find time to rehearse the clarinet! Cody also inherits a new handler for his latest mission in hapless rookie Derek Bowman (Anthony Anderson (from Kangaroo Jack, etc), eager to please and win his way into the Agency on a more permanent basis.

Like most sequels, Agent Cody Banks 2 is inferior to the original, although it will undoubtedly satisfy fans of the first film. This time the producers have toned down the violence and action in favour of a more comedic approach. There are a couple of exciting chase sequences and some comic scenes that succeed, despite the irksome and relentless unfunny presence of the brash and grating Anderson.

Few of the original cast return, although Keith David reprises his role as the officious CIA head, and Cody's family (Cynthia Stevenson, Daniel Roebuck and Connor Widdows) are wasted in meaningless cameos that bookend the
central plot. And even though there's no Hilary Duff, the producers have found a reasonable look alike in newcomer Hannah Spearritt, who plays a British teenage undercover agent who is also on the case.

The film gets by largely on the strength of Muniz's undeniable charms, and he seems even more comfortable with the demands of the role the second time around. However, it is to be hoped that the likeable young star is able to find worthwhile films that extend his screen life beyond the inevitable use-by-date of his Malcolm In The Middle TV series.