I picked up the two Cody Banks movies at the local grocery store for 8 bucks. I like a comedy occasionally, and I don't mind kid comedies. I had been a bit of a Frankie Muniz fan from the early days of Malcom In The Middle. It was an enjoyable show but I kind of quit watching that series after the first 2 or 3 years. I quit watching many shows around the same time but I never picked them up on DVD either. I'd seen a couple of his other movies, My Dog Skip and Big Fat Liar, and they were ok. The first movie is too melodramatic and sad and the second has Paul Giamatti painted blue. Easy to tell which one I would re-watch.
In the Cody Banks universe, which is very high tech, the CIA has a teen program. They have a teen camp that trains future spys. Frankie is part of the program. Hillary Duff is his first assignment. She's the daughter of a science guy who has invented some little nanobots that can destroy silicon or carbon based material. They just eat it all up. The bad guy, played by Ian McShane, wants them for his nefarious plan. It's the typical kind, take over the world, blah blah blah. He'll use the nanobots to eat away the defense systems of the USA. Cody gets himself invited to Hillary's birthday party so he can spy on the doctor's lab. The scenes are often played like it's a James Bond movie, with appropriate music. Veteran screen villian Arnold Vosloo plays Ian's main henchman. He's always great. You might remember him as Imhotep in the first two Brendan Frazier Mummy movies. Less likely is people having seen him in the second and third Darkman movies, where he plays the anti-hero Darkman. Liam Neeson played the character in the first movie, which I found very entertaining the first time and on repeated viewings. Vosloo played along side Lance Hendricks in John Woo's Hard Target. They are the evil bad guys who run a human hunting business. They get beat down by John Claude Van Damme. Arnold's a great villian. He does ok with comedy too. Hillary gets kidnapped by Ian to hold over the head of the doctor who just isn't being very co-operative. With Hillary locked up in a geodesic dome daddy comes through with the knowledge. Let's get this world takin' over party started! Ian's ready to get busy, but along comes Cody and his keeper Angie Harmon. They bust up the secret mountain lab with their mad spyin' skills and save Hillary and her father. The villians gets theirs and Cody heads home to the family, after a rousing hand of applause from his co-workers at the CIA. There's a lot of story going on for a 102 minute movie and the script isn't too bad.
Certainly the first film is much less slapstick than the second movie where Malcom is joined by the soul brother of Comic Relief Machines Anthony Anderson. Some people I know don't care for him. I understand that, comedy is such a personal thing. I don't mind him and I can find him funny or tiring. Director's hire him for his specific style of comedy. He's funny in some movies and not as funny in others. I expect that. He seems like a nice guy who likes to goof on stuff, and this sequel is more goofy than the first. There still are some nice high tech gadgets to help with the spying. I wish I had me some of those x-ray glasses. The movie opens with Cody at Spy Camp where he's assigned a special mission by returning director Keith David. Spy on a science guy who's got a mind control device and some evil plans. The head of the spy camp turns rogue and runs away to play with the science guy and his mind control device. They have fantasies of great power and big statues. Cody joins up with a British spy girl and they kick butt six ways to sunday. I don't know what that means but someone said it. I think it was John Wayne. The day is saved and the it's back to camp which is now being run by Anthony Andrews. The first was more entertaining and I probably will watch it again down the road. The first movie had a commentary with the director, Frankie and Angie. It's ok. No other features. The sequel has a weird video commentary that stop the film at certain times and Frankie, Anthony and the girl spy come on screen and goof about for a minute or two. Rather annoying. I only watched the first 20 minutes and turned that feature off. There are some deleted scenes and and a featurette.