With all-new gadgets, high-flying action, exciting chases and a wisecracking new handler, Derek (Anthony Anderson), Cody has to retrieve the device before the world's leaders fall under the ... Read allWith all-new gadgets, high-flying action, exciting chases and a wisecracking new handler, Derek (Anthony Anderson), Cody has to retrieve the device before the world's leaders fall under the evil control of a diabolical villain.With all-new gadgets, high-flying action, exciting chases and a wisecracking new handler, Derek (Anthony Anderson), Cody has to retrieve the device before the world's leaders fall under the evil control of a diabolical villain.
Setting it in London would have been a great idea if they had bothered to look beyond the standard cliché English eccentric characters but they don't. This is lazy writing of the highest order (yes, Don Rhymer, I mean you) and throws away every opportunity the setting gives for the story. Why not some cultural misunderstanding between Cody and the English, for instance? Or their disbelief that he is a secret agent. I know this isn't supposed to be taken seriously but this could have been a lot funnier than it is. Instead we get the typical English eccentrics so beloved of Hollywood.
Still, I must confess that the revelation during the concert at Buckingham Palace at the film's finale that Tony Blair is under mind control from an evil mastermind did make me laugh, even though it takes the film dangerously close to realism, something that doesn't occur again throughout the rest of the film (the Blair look-a-like (and sound-a-like) is great though - give that man a medal. For a minute, I was thinking it was the real thing. After his appearance in "The Simpsons", I was beginning to think that maybe Blair was starting to line up a new career for himself for when he gets kicked out of Downing Street).
And if I say that the only person not to disgrace themselves in this film is Hannah Spearritt, then you may some clue about how bad the performances are. Paul Kaye (a.k.a. Dennis Pennis) gives a career-truncating performance as an eccentric Q-type character while Anna Chancellor gets stuck with another posh English woman role after her turn in "What a Girl Wants" (What has this poor woman done to upset her agent? That's what I want to know), Anthony Anderson manages to make his previous performance in "Kangaroo Jack" look a masterpiece of subtlety by comparison and David Kelly is embarrassing as an eccentric butler (a shame as he's usually quite good, as anyone who's seen "Waking Ned" will testify). As for Hannah Spearritt, she makes an appealing easy on-the-eye replacement for Hilary Duff and isn't half bad as the flautist/covert agent, especially given the paucity of the material she was to work with. Given a decent script, she might find herself a career outside of S-Club 7 but after this and the S-Club 7 movie "Seeing Double", like Anna Chancellor, she needs to get herself a new agent first (perhaps she shares the same one as Anna Chancellor). To think this travesty was directed by an Englishman (Kevin Allen) defies belief (what was he thinking of? The pay cheque?). Avoid (like the plague), I beg you!!!
- Mar 21, 2004