Release Date: December 25th, 2019
MPA Rating: PG (for action, violence, and rude humor)
Runtime: 1 hr 41 min
Directed By: Troy Quane and Nick Bruno
Written By: Brad Copeland, Lloyd Taylor, and Cindy Davis
Starring: Will Smith, Tom Holland, Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Reba McEntire, and Rachel Brosnahan
Spies in Disguise is an animated spy comedy that revolves around a secret agent who accidentally becomes transformed into a pigeon, and must stop a cybernetic terrorist, while also attempting to change back into his human form. Based upon the animated short, Pigeon: Impossible, directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, produced by Blue Sky and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the movie stars Will Smith, Tom Holland, Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Reba McEntire, and Rachel Brosnahan, to name a few.
Lance Sterling (Will Smith) is an egotistic secret agent who is on a mission to recover an attack drone from an arms dealer. After capturing it, he has some words with his agency’s scientist, Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) for being too soft in his weapon making. Unbeknownst to Sterling, Beckett has created a “biodynamic concealment” concoction. After being framed for a crime he did not commit, by the terrorist, Sterling seeks Beckett’s help in disappearing, but accidentally consumes the concoction and turns into a pigeon.
For the remainder of the movie, Sterling and Beckett try to avoid capture while tracking down the criminal who framed Sterling, and save the world simultaneously. At the same time, Beckett must make an antidote to change Sterling back into his normal self.
Spies in Disguise is a fun movie to watch, but seems to be telling a familiar story again. Don’t get me wrong- the animation, with its vibrant colors and strong action scenes are appealing. But, the message behind the plot is nothing new. Defeat evil with peace instead of fire with fire.
Will Smith’s character is all about taking things to the next level, to get the bad guys. Yet, alongside him is the pacifist scientist, played by Tom Holland, who wants to fight crime in a less violent manner. Obviously, the peace loving character wins out in the end, as if we didn’t know already.
I did enjoy watching the movie, but felt the story has been told before. If you can get pass this fact, then Spies will be an enjoyment for you. Yet, if you are looking for an animated movie that offers something different, then no matter how you disguise it, Spies in Disguise will not be the spy movie for you.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars