Super spy Lance Sterling and scientist Walter Beckett are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is not. But what Walter lacks in social skills he makes up for in smarts and invention, creating the awesome gadgets Lance uses on his epic missions. But when events take an unexpected turn, Walter and Lance suddenly have to rely on each other in a whole new way. And if this odd couple can’t learn to work as a team, the whole world is in peril.
Plot: When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world.
Director: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Runtime: 102 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: A cheerfully undemanding animated adventure that’s elevated by its voice cast, Spies in Disguise is funny, fast-paced, and family-friendly enough to satisfy.
“Action and laughs for the whole family.”
Lance Sterling, a cocky secret agent of H.T.U.V. (Honor, Trust, Unity and Valor) is sent on a mission to recover an attack drone from Japanese arms dealer Katsu Kimura. As soon as the buyer arrives, Sterling goes against orders, defeats Kimura and his gang and escapes with the briefcase. When Sterling returns to headquarters, in full victory lap style, he confronts Walter Beckett (recent MIT graduate and outcast) for equipping nonlethal weapons into his suit.
Shockingly enough, Sterling discovers the briefcase he apprehended was empty. He’s confronted by Marcy, a security forces agent who reveals footage of Sterling leaving with the drone, (actually Killian in a holographic disguise) labeling him a traitor. Having to protect himself, Sterling escapes the H.T.U.V. and decides to track down Walter to help him disappear.
While searching Walter’s home for his invention, Sterling unknowingly ingests a concoction and transforms into a pigeon, yes a pigeon. Before Walter can start making an antidote to change him back, H.T.U.V. agents chase the duo through the city, where they narrowly escape in Sterling’s super car. From here, the two track down Kimura to a resort in Playa del Carmen where they ultimately learn of Killian’s whereabouts in Venice, Italy. On their way to confront Kimura, Walter attempts to make an antidote, but fails.
When Walter arrives in Venice he’s confronted by the H.T.U.V. (unaware of Sterling’s ‘pigeon situation’) who try to convince him to help turn in Sterling, but he refuses. From here, the two discover the drone carrying the H.T.U.V. agent database and Walter manages to retrieve it. However, Killian shows up, takes the database, and prepares to kill Walter.
What happens from here? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.
In conclusion —
I find it difficult to really dive into animated movies critically. Sure, there are certain studios like PIXAR who are held to the highest possible level, but for the most part every other studio hits and misses. How can you properly critic something that’s meant for parents and children alike?
Spies in Disguise plays like a 007 knockoff with a stereotypical geek and hero having to work together to save the world — or in this case geek and a pigeon. It’s entertaining and funny — which means it passes all the marks you’d want for a movie the whole family can enjoy. Visually you’re in for a treat too because the majority of the movie if full of bright-popping color and the animation looks great. I’m not a big fan of messing with the anatomy of the human body, in this case skinny legs and big heads, but you’ll get used to it.
There is an important note behind the fabric of this movie and that’s the anti-violence stance. Walter’s goal in life is to make the world more safe by creating “weapons” that don’t actually hurt people, but will still aid in fighting crime. That’s a perfect combination to teach the children something growing up in this violent world. Lastly, something I noted is this movie is kind of like a hybrid of other animated movies you’ve seen in the past few years, but I’ll leave that guessing game up to you. (I saw three, one from Disney, two from Illumination.)
Taking everything I’ve said into account, Spies In Disguise gets my recommendation for a safe day-one purchase if you have a family that can get the enjoyment out of it. It will fill your living room with enough action and laughs for the whole family. Do yourself a favor, grab a copy at your local retailer on either 4K or Blu-ray tomorrow, March 1oth.
Did you catch Spies in Disguise in theater? Were you a fan of this movie? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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