From Spies in Disguise to Bad Boys for Life…

22 Jan

Image result for spies in disguiseBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Fans of action star Will Smith will get 100% Fresh Prince’d, if not more in Spies in Disguise as Lance Sterling, a top-notch agent. Although I find he rarely strays from this persona over the years, I’m not tired of this fact. He sometimes jazzes his role up by being more macho and that’s enough for me. Aside from Six Degrees of Separation, I don’t think he’s ever deviated.

As a voice over performer, Shark Tale deserves to be locked up in Davy Jones’ Locker. He is who he is, and very much typecast. Spies in Disguise showcases him at his best–cocky. In larger movie metroplexes, fans can see him in a family friendly work (this one) and also Bad Boys for Life, which sees him as a total badass and perhaps ending this set of films. As a self-absorbed H.T.U.V. (Honor, Trust, Unity and Valor) super spy, both roles are different, but showcases this talent. As an agent who botches his last mission, he almost misses the mark by learning humility. It’s not entirely his fault. Killian (a nicely menacing Ben Mendelsohn) is his nemesis and frames Sterling. Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) is a scientist he loosely befriends and is perhaps the only person who can help. After losing his mother a long time ago (she was part of the police force), his life has been one of solitude. He’s a social misfit and struggles to find friends. Part of it is simply due to not having anyone mentor him in the important years of his life. When he sees other solutions to deal with injustice in the world, not everyone wants to agree with his methods, which means using non-violent means to take down the enemy.

Image result for spies in disguise

The message is good; the big question is if everyone watching this film will take notice and practise what this film preaches? Holland is terrific at imbuing a sense of ignorance and innocence to the character. Despite a tragic loss which sees Beckett doing nothing great for his life, he’s hopeful. His job with H.T.U.V. has his employers simply shoving him into a closet lab instead of hanging out with the guys.

The friendship that develops between him and Sterling shows that everyone is important, and the adventure they have is high octane material straight out of James Bond. It’s a film that’s more than likely to see a spin-off with pigeons saving the world, but as for what Blue Sky (creators of the Ice Age franchise) has planned next, sadly the Disney has a bit of a say. This super mouse bought Fox Studios which in turns owns this animation studio.

As for what’s next for the animation house, an adaptation of Noelle Stevenson’s (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power) fantasy and science fiction graphic novel, Nimona, is slated for 2022 release.

3 Stars out of 5

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