Spies in Disguise Movie Review: Barely funny animation adventure comedy

Updated: 27 December, 2019 14:45 IST | Johnson Thomas | Mumbai

Spies in Disguise is merely a big-budget offshoot that is disorderly in its narration and rather irreverent and careless when compared to other superior animation products.

Spies in Disguise. Pic/Youtube
Spies in Disguise. Pic/Youtube

Spies In Disguise
U/A: Animation, Action, Adventure
Cast: Will Smith, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, DJ Khaled
Director: Troy Quane, Nick Bruno
Rating: Ratings

This film was inspired by a six-minute short by Lucas Martell titled 'Pigeon: Impossible' but that's also where the resemblance begins and ends. This feature-length offering bears little resemblance to its inspiration. This is merely a big-budget offshoot that is disorderly in its narration and rather irreverent and careless when compared to other superior animation products. Put-on and frenetic, Spies in disguise doesn't quite hit its stride even where the jokes are concerned. American secret agent supreme, Lance Sterling (Will Smith), is inadvertently turned into a blue pigeon by precocious young science genius Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) - but that was obviously not what Lance wanted to happen.

The blue pigeon version happened because of an invisibility potion experiment deliberately turned awry. And Sterling wanted to be invisible because even his boss, Joy Jenkins (Reba McEntire), can't protect him so he has no choice other than that...The reasoning here is that Walter is a geeky pacifist who can't bear to harm anyone. So even his inventions are meant to stun rather than kill.

The adventure here rests on the two polar opposites having to complement and depend on each other. Super spy Lance is a James Bond-like stereotype while Walter, who lacks in social skills, is so smart that it's his invention that Lance hoped to rely on, for his mission impossible. Then events take an unexpected turn - Walter and Lance as a team, doesn't quite work out as expected.

Watch the trailer of Spies in Disguise

The adventure takes shape as the spies make a mad dash through Washington, D.C., have an exciting interlude at a Mexican resort, get into a secret weapons lab in the North Sea and then Venice. In Venice Lance meets many more of his ilk (pigeons I mean).

The lame, childish gags, haphazard direction, helter-skelter narration, unaccomplished concept and unremarkable voicing by recognizable voices makes this a rather limpid, unprepossessing animation comedy. The script by Brad Copeland and Lloyd Taylor, from a screen story by Cindy Davis, lacks logic or purpose. The action sequences all over the world, are never justified with any conviction so the movement from one region of the world to another seems like happenstance. Even the animation craft is not of the standard we've come to expect from Disney. The flashy, glitter laden finale may look better to the younger lot but a more discerning audience will find it rather unimaginative and tasteless. The pacifist messaging is the only saving grace here.

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First Published: 27 December, 2019 13:45 IST

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