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"AGENT CODY BANKS"
(2003) (Frankie Munoz, Hilary Duff) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*None Moderate Extreme *Moderate Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Extreme None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Minor Mild *Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: A 15-year-old junior agent for the CIA must overcome his shyness around girls when he's assigned to infiltrate the life of a female classmate and find out what her inventor dad is doing with some international criminals.
PLOT:
Nanotechnology inventor Dr. Albert Connors (MARTIN DONOVAN) has created an oil spill confinement process where pre-programmed "nano-bots" automatically and systematically devour their intended target. An international uber-villain, Brinkman (IAN McSHANE), and his henchman Francois Molay (ARNOLD VOSLOO), however, have for more grandiose and sinister plans for the bots. By using them to attack various missile installations, they'll be able to render the U.S. military helpless.

Accordingly, the CIA director (KEITH DAVID) realizes they have to take action to prevent that from occurring. Yet, they need an undercover agent to get close to Connors' teenage daughter, Natalie (HILARY DUFF), to spy on the inventor. Enter 15-year-old Cody Banks (FRANKIE MUNIZ), a junior agent with the CIA Development Program, Seattle division.

Having been trained in covert summer camps, Cody's secret agent status is secret to his parents (CYNTHIA STEVENSON & DANIEL ROBUCK) and younger brother, Alex (CONNOR WIDDOWS). He has no idea, however, how he's going to accomplish his task - getting Natalie to fall for him - since he's incredibly awkward around girls. Even so, he sets out to do just that and with the aid of adult agent Ronica Miles (ANGIE HARMON), Cody tries to win the girl, catch the villain and save the world.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they enjoyed the "Spy Kids" movies or are fans of someone in the cast, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For action violence, mild language and some sensual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • FRANKIE MUNIZ plays a 15-year-old junior agent with the CIA who must overcome his awkwardness around girls to get Natalie to fall for him so he can spy on her inventor father, stop the villains and save the world. He fights various bullies and villains along the way.
  • HILARY DUFF plays the 15-year-old daughter of an inventor whose work has drawn the attention of the CIA.
  • ANGIE HARMON plays an adult agent who can't believe that she has to work in assisting Cody with his assignment.
  • IAN McSHANE plays the international villain who wants to use Dr. Connors' work for diabolical and megalomaniacal purposes.
  • ARNOLD VOSLOO plays his hulking henchman who kidnaps Natalie and tries to harm Cody and others.
  • MARTIN DONOVAN plays a nanotechnology inventor whose work draws the attention of Brinkman.
  • KEITH DAVID plays the over-reactive CIA director who's constantly yelling and briefly uses some profanity.
  • CYNTHIA STEVENSON plays Cody's mom who's in the dark about his activities.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this action/adventure flick that's been rated PG. Profanity consists of at least 1 possible "s" word, another muffled one and a handful of colorful phrases. Some sexually related dialogue is present, while one woman is always in tight and revealing attire and x-ray type images of women in their undergarments are briefly seen.

    Violence includes one death (a character dissolves away after swallowing something lethal), various scenes of characters fighting or hitting others with fists or other objects and explosions that destroy a villain's lair. While played for action and adventure rather than graphic realism, some of those scenes and some chase moments might be intense or suspenseful to some younger viewers.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some crude humor and imitative behavior is also present. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None, but various underage students hold casino style drinks (presumably non-alcoholic) at a Vegas-themed birthday party.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Molay has an ugly and large scar from ear to ear around his neck.
  • We see vomit on the chin and shirt of a Driver Ed instructor after Cody drives like a stuntman.
  • We see a dog's urine stream hitting an agent's shoe. He then informs Cody that the dog also defecated twice and attempts to hand the bag of that to Cody. The boy walks away, so the agent places the bag of that inside his coat.
  • We hear someone fart inside a van crammed full of agents. All of them then react to the smell.
  • Cody has a little bloody mark above his eye after Francois punches him.
  • An ice cube (that contains nano-bots that will eat whatever they encounter) is stuffed into a villain's mouth. He then reacts to that (convulsing) and eventually begins to dissolve away (only briefly seen, but enough to look somewhat gross).
  • A villain has what look like black burn marks on part of his face.
  • Cody has a slightly bloody scrape on his cheek.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Brinkman and his goons all have bad attitudes for wanting to use Connors' invention for malicious means and for kidnapping Natalie and attempting to harm others.
  • Some kids make fun of Cody regarding his awkwardness around girls (and one of the girls asks if he's in Special-Ed). More making fun continues in the locker room.
  • To keep his cover, Cody and Ronica participate in some white lies (including to his parents). Cody's younger brother also helps by posing as Cody under the bed covers in one scene.
  • Some kids at Natalie's school aren't nice to Cody and make fun of him (one takes his watch and won't give it back).
  • When first meeting Cody and seeing him being tongue-tied and awkward around her, Natalie also asks if he's in Special-Ed.
  • Some viewers might not like the stereotypical portrayal of an Asian Driver Ed instructor (talking fast and sounding barely intelligible).
  • Some mean boys at a party throw another kid into the pool and then try to do the same to Cody before he fights them off.
  • For those who don't like gambling, there's a faux version of that at a birthday party where kids are gambling (but not for real money).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be tense or suspenseful to some younger viewers. Similarly, the scenes listed here might have the same effect on younger kids, but older ones might not find them that way at all.
  • A mother parks her car to drop some mail into a mailbox. Her toddler, however, climbs out of his seat and accidentally manages to disengage the parking brake and put the car in gear. It then starts to roll down a steep street backwards. Cody spots this and takes off after the car and toddler on his skateboard. He eventually catches the car but can't get in due to the locked door. He then avoids another car door opening as he zips by and then goes through a large construction pipe before ending up in front of the rapidly-moving car that's flying through parallel and perpendicular traffic. Cody then gets on top of the car as it approaches a railroad crossing where the gates are coming down. He then goes head-first through the sunroof and manages to engage the parking brake and yank the steering wheel to bring the car to a stop just inches from the passing train.
  • Natalie begins to fall off the top of a ladder while hanging a banner. Cody then races over, grabs the bottom of the banner and creates a makeshift slide that she slides down to safety after falling.
  • Cody decides to get a closer look at the villains and what they're doing behind the scenes at a birthday party. Accordingly, he sneaks around and puts himself in harm's way of being discovered. After some spying and retrieving of a sample, one of his suction-cup shoes (that he's using to walk across the ceiling upside down) begins to fall apart and he sets off the alarm system. Francois and others then race there and try to unlock the door while Cody tries to get back up into the ventilation system before they do so.
  • Cody tries to elude some henchmen (on snowmobiles) who pursue him and his jet-propelled snowboard down a snowy slope. Cody flies around and knocks one of them off his (and uses his jets to catch the man's pants on fire - played for laughs). Another pursuer is clotheslined and his snowmobile flies off and explodes upon hitting the ground.
  • Cody and Ronica sneak around inside the villains' lair and try to save Natalie without being detected. Once they are, all sorts of fighting breaks out.
  • Brinkman holds a melting ice cube (that contains nano-bots that will eat whatever they encounter) to Natalie's head as a means of getting her father to cooperate.
  • Cody, Ronica, Natalie and her dad try to escape the villain's lair as various parts of it explode and/or fall apart (in a several minute sequence with various close calls, all of which might be rather intense for younger viewers).
  • We then see that another explosive is attached to canisters of gas. It's counting down toward zero as Cody fights Francois and the others hover nearby in a helicopter. He finally jumps and hangs onto the chopper's landing rail just as the lair explodes.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Cody uses his X-ray glasses to see that a gateman has a handgun beneath his coat.
  • Various explosives: Used to blow up and destroy the villains' headquarters.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Idiot," "Loser," "Screw up," "What a freak," "This mission is screwed," "I suck," "That really freaks me out" and "Nerd."
  • Some kids might be enticed to imitate the various stunts and fighting scenes in the film.
  • Cody drives like a stuntman through a Driver Ed course, including rapidly driving in reverse and up on two wheels.
  • Natalie wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A villain suddenly pops up (along with sudden music).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful (some playfully done) and action-oriented music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 possible "s" word (along with an incomplete/hand-muffled "Holy sh*t"), 1 crap and 4 uses of "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Cody's younger brother, Alex (age 10), chides Cody about being on more dates than he has been. Cody replies that whatever he does doesn't count as a date, but Alex responds that it does "When you're playing doctor."
  • Ronica wears tight and cleavage-revealing outfits throughout most of the film. When she enters the boys' locker room to retrieve Cody (while the lyrics in a song state, "It's so hot, it hurts"), the other boys stare and gawk at her appearance. One boy tries to come on to her (saying he wants to be in trouble) so she pulls his towel away (we briefly see him in his underwear as he scrambles to cover himself up). Another boy then wants her to take off his towel, but she puts him and others in their place.
  • Cody receives various spy gadgets, including a pair of sunglasses with X-ray ability. He then turns and looks at Ronica in her tight outfit (and smiles) and she quickly puts her hands over her clothed breasts.
  • During a montage of many people trying to instruct or inform Cody about girls, one woman says, "Any species that's predicated upon mating, the male and female must couple..." A man pulls off a human anatomy chest plate that show anatomical and partial views of a female's bare breasts (plastic), while an animation shows what looks like nude male and female figures rotating with boxes blocking out their chest and crotch areas. A man then says that women are like cow chips - they older they get the easier they are to pick up. We also see a comely virtual woman (with cleavage) acting alluringly to Cody, but he just freezes up.
  • Cody uses his X-ray glasses to look at two young women and we see X-ray type views of them that highlight their bras and panties (two male agents like the view in the surveillance van). Ronica then activates the parental control on the glasses and we see blurred out views of those bra and panty areas.
  • Ronica offers to give Cody a lift in a flying device where she stands upright. He goes up to her (with his head being at the height of her chest) and she makes him turn around.
  • Brinkman tells Ronica that he loves her skintight suit and comments that there's no place for a gun inside there.
  • Cody and Natalie start to kiss, but the camera moves up and away from them so we don't see anything else.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Connors' wife died two years ago, but nothing more is made of that.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Being uncomfortable or awkward around the opposite sex.
  • The CIA and spies.
  • Nano-technology.
  • Molay has an ugly and large scar from ear to ear around his neck.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Most of what's listed here is played for action and adventure rather than graphic or serious realism.
  • We mostly hear but partially see a man being dragged off camera (in video playback) and then hear sounds of violence (but can't tell what happened to him).
  • Ronica deals with some randy boys in a locker room by hitting one on the foot with a coiled towel. She then hits another in the crotch with the same towel and then uses it to hit a locker door that hits the first boy on the head.
  • After a classmate takes Cody's watch, Cody imagines punching, kicking and throwing the kid onto a table. Back in reality, the classmate then pushes a button on the watch that Cody warned him not to push. That results in him getting shocked from it and falling to the floor.
  • Cody and Ronica spar with martial arts moves (punches, kicks, flips, etc.).
  • Some kids at a party pick up Cody and try to throw him into a swimming pool. He then dispatches them with various martial arts punches and kicks (knocking some into the pool).
  • Cody recognizes villains around him and Natalie in a restaurant and thus knocks one of them down. The two kids then run and the villain knocks someone down while in pursuit. A waitress trips one of the villains (sending him to the floor). The villains then surround the kids and grab Natalie. Cody then hits one goon on the head and flees. He then proceeds to hit various villains (on their heads as well as hand of one) with large metal frying pans, all while Francois tries to and eventually succeeds at throwing a struggling Natalie into the back of a limo. We then see Cody's point of view of Francois punching and apparently knocking him out.
  • Cody tries to elude some henchmen (on snowmobiles) who pursue him and his jet-propelled snowboard down a snowy slope. Cody flies around and knocks one of them off his (and uses his jets to catch the man's pants on fire - played for laughs). Another pursuer is clotheslined and his snowmobile flies off and explodes upon hitting the ground.
  • Goons remove Ronica and struggle with Cody. Cody then shocks two of the goons with his special watch and flees. Ronica then punches several goons.
  • Ronica hits several people as Cody sets off various large explosions inside the villains' lair. Cody also hits several people and Ronica fights with Francois and others.
  • An ice cube (that contains nano-bots that will eat whatever they encounter) is stuffed into a villain's mouth. He then reacts to that (convulsing) and eventually begins to dissolve away (only briefly seen).
  • Francois pushes Natalie's father aside, while Ronica and Cody fight with various goons (one of them falls quite a distance to the floor).
  • Nano-bots consume various parts of a mountainous lair, causing things to fall apart all around Cody and others.
  • Cody fights a villain on the edge of a precipice (with struggling, hitting, banging the villain's head on some equipment, and bending his thumb backwards).
  • A large explosion destroys a villain's lair.



  • Reviewed March 2, 2003 / Posted March 14, 2003

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