'Spies in Disguise' - Movie Review

The movie opens with two set-up scenes - the first is of a very young Walter Beckett (voiced at this point by Jarrett Bruno, but Tom Holland for most of the movie) who is already inventing non-lethal spy gadgets. The second is of spy Lance Sterling (voiced by Will Smith) taking on a huge contingent of Yakuza in Japan - and my first thought was "wow, they just visually quoted 'Kill Bill.'" And of course every James Bond movie ever. The main point of the sequence was to show us how incredibly good he is, but also the massive ego and loner mentality that goes with his success. The sequence also introduces our primary bad guy (Ben Mendelsohn).

Shortly after Sterling returns to hero worship at his agency, he gets tangled up with the now adult Walter who (having graduated MIT at age 15) is making gadgets for the agency. Sterling promptly has Beckett fired, then gets in lots of trouble, seeks out Walter, and turns himself into a pigeon by mis-using some of Walter's tech. And now we have a classic mis-matched buddy movie: they don't like each other but they have to co-operate to survive what's coming.

I've mentioned James Bond and "Kill Bill:" the other movie that came to mind was "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." It's an animated movie, let's make it surreal. Nowhere near as crazy as "Cloudy" (to its own detriment), this is colourful and fun without doing anything new, or leaving a lasting impression. Although the gag (included in the trailer) when Sterling first finds himself turned into a pigeon is pretty memorable: "Look at you? I can't not look at you, Walter. I can see my butt and your face at the same time!" To accompany this they give us his 360 degree vision for a few moments. Kind of the high point of the movie ...