3.5 / 5
The power of birds!
The super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) is a daredevil agent, skillfully dressed 24/7, carries many hidden weapons on his person, likes to explode a lot and always ends his mission in style, never missing to save the day. He’s somewhat arrogant about all of this and treats everyone else working for his super secret agency as his servants. Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) is an arms scientist working for the agency who wants to release a range of non-lethal gadgets. Their paths cross and Walter ends up transforming Lance into a pigeon. Killian (Ben Mendelsohn) is a powerful terrorist with a bionic arm and technology with disguise abilities. He wants to target all the secret agents there are to avenge past wrongs and it is now up to Lance, Walter and their avian friends to defeat the villain and save their comrades …
The film is based on the animated short film by Lucas Martell Pigeon: Impossible (2009). As such, it’s a travesty of all Mission Impossible movies and all the Bond movies you’ve seen. The change of face, for example, is the hallmark of MI films. The bionic arm and the vengeful villain can easily fit into any Bond movie. What is different is that instead of going towards a solution where everything and everyone blew up, the film seeks pacifist means to counter the super bad guys. He preaches peace and non-violence and maintains that good and evil are only terms. When trying to counter violence with violence, it is people who end up hurting themselves. Therefore, one must look beyond the textbook solutions and find ways that cause the least harm to everyone involved.
The film also uses the tropes of boyfriend films, pitting Lance’s solo flight routine against Walters’ faith in teamwork. Although the formula has become so widely used now that we can predict twists to a kilometer. The animation is indeed imaginative. The car chase sequence where Lance tries to steer her gadget-filled supercar in her pigeon avatar keeps you in the splits. Another sequence has a flock of pigeons saving Walter from certain death. And it is only in a children’s film that we would see pink glitter, kitten videos and chewing gum used to eliminate the bad guys.
Overall, Spies In Disguise is the perfect Christmas movie with something for everyone. It offers a unique parody of spy movies, contains a powerful message and is endowed with the star power of Will Smith and Tom Holland to boot. What more could you ask for, really?
Watch the Trailer: Spies In Disguise
(integrated) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eY2W7uUkDE (/ integrated)
Neil Soans, December 25, 2019, 1:00 am IST
3.5 / 5
Story of disguised spies: A super spy and a scientist must work together when the first turns into a pigeon.
Spies In Disguise review: Lance Sterling (voiced by Will Smith) is the self-proclaimed “biggest spy in the world”, and it’s no exaggeration. He manages the impossible missions with flamboyance thanks to his skills, his intelligence, his charisma and some practical gadgets. Which brings us to Walter Beckett (voiced by Tom Holland) – a mad scientist with a penchant for creating nonviolent gadgets. Sterling prefers to work alone, but is forced to team up with Walter when he accidentally consumes one of the inventor’s concoctions and turns into a pigeon. Sterling and Walter must now help each other to confront Killian (voiced by Ben Mendelsohn), who threatens to expose all the spies.
Going through the movie trailer, the twinning of Will Smith and Tom Holland promised to be its highlight, and it is! The two actors put their charm to the maximum, which, combined with their chemistry, is reason enough to watch this animated film from the Blue Sky studios. The plot is almost entirely predictable; it’s a combination of a spy spoof and a comedy with friends, so its direction is pretty much explained. Likewise, the plot and character arcs can be defined in the first act itself. However, there are a few surprises that the film’s marketing has managed to hide. One notable aspect is the animation of the film which is visually detailed and will appeal to adults and children. Although the humor is undoubtedly more biased for a younger audience, parents will find something to laugh about.
That said, the novelty of the idea of body change begins to fade after a point, especially when the jokes feel rehashed. But the cast of voice actors doesn’t let your attention waver too long. Besides Smith and Holland, Ben Mendelsohn relishes yet another negative role as villain Killian. Rashida Jones, Karen Gillan and DJ Khaled play a trio of agents in search of missing Sterling, and add to the chaos. The film has an engaging message about the maladjustments and nonviolence from which children could undoubtedly learn. “Spies in Disguise” may not be revolutionary, but it is a fun and entertaining family movie suitable for the holidays.