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Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (Blu-ray Review)

Agent-Cody-Banks 2Frankie Muniz (TV’s Malcolm in the Middle) returns as adolescent agent Cody Banks in Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London.  Directed by Kevin Allen (Twin Town) from the screenplay by Don Rhymer (story by Rhymer, Harald Zwart & Dylan Sellers based on the characters created by Jeffrey Jurgensen), Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London co-stars Keith David (Road House) as the CIA Director and Cynthia Stevenson (The Player) as Cody’s mother, reprising their Agent Cody Banks roles.  In this sequel we are introduced to new cast members Anthony Anderson (TV’s Black-ish), Hannah Spearritt (Seed of Chucky) &  James Faulkner (TV’s Da Vinci’s Demons).  The film is debuting for the very first time on Blu-ray May 24th, along with its predecessor, courtesy of Olive Films.

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Film 

It’s action across the pond this time around when Agent Cody Banks is called on to help locate stolen plans for a mind-control device. With the aid of his new handler, Derek, and MI6 undercover operative Emily Sommers, Cody’s in hot pursuit of the dastardly Lord Duncan Kenworth, the mastermind behind the plot.

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London could fall into a sequel category like “more of the same”, which it indeed is.  The follow up just changes its locales to a different country.  However, while similar, this one is a bit more fine tuned and seems to work better than its predecesser.  A big component of that is that this one isn’t afraid to just be a silly, over the top kids movie.  Its not worried about being classy, just being good at being some dumb fun for adolescents to kill time over.

While they fix the creepy older agent/younger agent thing that I was somewhat bothered by in the first movie, its a shame that they basically fully showed Angie Harmon the door.  She was one of the best things about the first movie (That or I just was too busy drooling or something).  This time we get Anthony Anderson.  But, this is good as he and Frankie Muniz share a real strong chemistry with one another.  Another strength with Anderson is that the guy is genuinely funny and can land jokes and bits making you actually laugh with the movie, instead of at it like the first one.

There is also just a bigger kids presence in the movie as well.  A lot of the previous film felt like Cody Banks was the only kid in it.  Most of the co-stars were adults.  There are many returns of those characters here but in more limited roles than previously.  While, no, I’m not going to go start riding Agent Cody Banks fan fiction anytime soon, I will say that this one wasn’t too bad for a kids action/adventure film.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Clarity/Detail:  The second top secret mission adventure for Cody Banks transfers to Blu-ray looking much more impressive than the first film.  It features a clean, clear image that has plenty of rich detail to go along with a crisper and sharper picture.

Depth:  Solid depth of field work here.  Characters move smoothly and cinematically.  There are some exterior scenes with a good sense of spacing between characters, backgrounds and objects.

Black Levels:  Blacks are rich and full.  Detail is still discernible in clothing, hair and surfaces that are black.  No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are much more vivid here and pop quite well.  Even the sky and grass look lovely in this picture.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and maintain a consistent appearance for the duration of the film’s runtime.  Facial details are terrific in close ups and medium shots.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: N/A

Dynamics:  Well, looky here.  They put a 5.1 mix on this one.  The mix has some good well rounded and clear sounding foley effects.  Explosions, crashing and other effects are nicely layered, front and center and impactful when they happen.  

Low Frequency Extension:  Crashes, doors shutting hard, explosions and such are the things you’ll find beefed up by your subwoofer. 

Surround Sound Presentation:  Front speakers give an accurate portrayal of positioning and movement of the onscreen activities.  Rears speakers have some moments but are mainly used from ambiance and atmospheric sounds.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is clear and clean.

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Extras 

Outtakes (HD, 4:01)

Deleted Scenes (HD, 3:03) 

Extended Scenes (HD, 3:40)

Agent Cody Banks: Back in Action (HD, 8:41) – A sorta EPK-ish making of, with most of the interview coming from the set.  Lots of fluff pretty much.

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Summary 

Your Agent Cody Banks collections can now be completed on Blu-ray thanks to Olive Films.  This second film sees a step up from the first one.  It also is in terms of the Blu-ray presentation too.  Both picture and sound are upgrades from the first movie.  It seems that all of the DVD bonus material has been ported over here to this Blu-ray as well.  Pick it up for your kids or you yourself was a total Agent Cody Banks worshipper back when they came out.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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