Monday, June 29, 2020

Movie Review: Spies in Disguise

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Action, laughs, fun
Cons: Predictable and familiar elements
The Bottom Line:
Spy becomes pigeon
Familiar plot elements
Still provide us laughs

“I’ve Got to Fight Fire with Fire.  Because If I Try to Fight Fire with Glitter, I Could Get My Face Burned Off.”

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t go see all animated movies in the theater.  Like all genres, I will go if a movie interests me.  Spies in Disguise was one of those movies I couldn’t quite decide about, so I didn’t go out of my way to see it in the theater.  However, I mostly enjoyed it on home video.

As the movie opens, we meet Walter, a young man with a gift for inventing…creative crime fighting gadgets.  He drives his mom crazy with these inventions.  As an adult (voiced by Tom Holland), his gadgets now annoy Lance Sterling (Will Smith), the greatest superspy in the world.  In fact, they are so annoying, Lance fires Walter.

However, Lance’s latest mission has gone sideways, and Lance suddenly finds himself framed as a double agent.  He needs a gadget that Walter has invented to help him clear his name, but a mix-up turns Lance into a pigeon instead.  Now the two unlikely allies will have to work together to find the truth while turning Lance back into a human.  Can they do it?

Obviously, they movie plays into multiple familiar tropes, but with an added pigeon twist.  And the plot pretty much goes where you’d expect it to go.  Fortunately, there is plenty of fun to be had along the way.  I had to laugh at some of the lines and the action along the way.  The story moves very quickly and sometimes the jokes don’t quite have time to settle before we are off to something else, but they still made me laugh.

There are a couple of surprises along the way, but for the most part, the plot follows familiar lines.  However, kids won’t be able to predict the story as easily, so they will be entertained.  I have to admit, I got so caught up in the action that I wasn’t as far ahead of the movie as I might have been.

Because, in case you haven’t figured it out by now, this movie is fun.  Both Lance and Walter are exaggerated characters, but they fit into this world.  They are at once likeable and outlandishly funny.

And the action.  This is a globetrotting movie that plays into spy clich├ęs and has fun with it.  There are several major action scenes that will keep your attention.

One reason I hesitated to see the movie is the theater was the bathroom jokes in the previews.  I was happy to see that most of them were in the previews, and the movie found plenty of other ways to make us laugh.

The voice talent is wonderful.  The standout is Will Smith, who is obviously having fun playing an exaggerated version of his action persona.

I don’t know that I would have enjoyed the movie as much if I had paid to see it in the theater, but for a rental, it was a lot of fun.  If you and your family want something to entertain you for a couple of hours, you’ll find Spies in Disguise fits the bill.

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