In Brief: No disguising this one. It’s a terrible movie.
Spies in Disguise has unseated Missing Link as the most disappointing animated movie of the year. Will Smith gives voice to Lance Sterling. He’s the best spy in the world and also the most arrogant. Sterling’s braggadocio is blunted when an enemy spy has learned how to get his face to look like Sterling and Sterling gets accused of committing crimes against the country.
To save himself, he ends up having to partner up with Walter Beckett. He’s voiced by Spider-Man’s Tom Holland. Beckett has a formula that can help Sterling. Things backfire when he swallows a different formula. It alters his DNA and turns him into a pigeon.
As a bird, it’s hard to save the world.
Considering the vocal talent — Smith, Holland, Reba McEntire, Rashida Jones and Jumanji’s Karen Gillan — you’re expecting a bit more. Then when you look at the fine print, the film is written by Brad Copeland who penned the awful Yogi Bear and Lloyd Taylor who helped write the equally horrible, The Wild.
What made me hopeful about Spies in Disguise is that Copeland picked up a Prime Time Emmy nomination for his work on TV’s Arrested Development.
Instead of something packed with unpredictable laughs, Copeland and Taylor give us a bird-brained plot that has nowhere even remotely fun to go. Really young kids — who like about anything — will find it entertaining but the rest of us will compare it to pigeon poop.
Directors: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane
Stars: Will Smith, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Reba McEntire, Rachel Brosnahan
Rated PG for mature themes. Younger kids will find this appealing but the rest of us score it as pigeon poop. Give it a 2 on the Friday Flicks with Gary 0 to 5 scale.
Click here for theaters and show times.
Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.