Spies in Disguise
Brought to us by the studio that rarely disappoints, Spies in Disguise aims to uphold Blue Sky’s prestigious record and has recruited a team including Will Smith, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Ben Mendelsohn and Rashida Jones to do so. With a screenplay inspired by the 2009 short Pigeon Impossible, made with multiple hijinks, quirky characters and a nine-figure budget to boot, there is significant promise in the foundations of this film; and ultimately, after a whole team effort, the rewards are there to be reaped.
Smith takes the lead in Spies in Disguise as super-spy Lance Sterling, a smooth operator who effortlessly saves the world from any dangers that threaten its existence and protects the safety of those who inhabit it. The only problem is, he cold-bloodedly uses any means to do so. Enter Walter Beckett (Holland), a young scientist recently laid off from the agency due to the laughable, non-deadly gadgets that label him an embarrassment to work with. When evil mastermind Killian (Mendelsohn) uses technology of his own to frame Lance, he suddenly finds himself relying on the talents of Walter to help him save the day once more, and this time he is on new and unexpected form.
As far as animated children’s films go, this one falls firmly into the success category. For starters, the plot is wildly entertaining, with every character bringing their own personality and flair to the story. The film has a strong moral message running through the core of it, told well through the main characters and their onscreen actions. This element also benefits from the 102-minute run time, allowing enough time for character building rather than oversimplifying, and embracing narrative scenes that maintain the attention of young watchers high on sugar, trapping gazes until the final credits and the inevitable sleepy crash.
As the film speeds along, so do the characters and the audience’s enjoyment. Smith, Holland, Gillan and Jones show they are veterans of voice acting, an art far more complicated than you might think. Mendelsohn, in particular, lays down a menacing track with his quietly villainous Australian tones, completing his character perfectly. Packed full of laughs, the film proves a fulfilling experience for viewers of all ages, with gadgets, all the action you could wish for, and even a few sneaky adult jokes filling the screen. Think of it as Blue Sky’s Rio meets Pixar’s The Incredibles and you get an idea of what Spies in Disguise delivers.
Although its premise, particularly as it relates to fowl, is totally unrealistic, it is completely acceptable. In reality, who cares? As long as it is a hoot, it gets a big thumbs up. If you are struggling for some Christmas entertainment to occupy your little ones, then a Boxing Day trip to Spies in Disguise may well be the antidote.
Spies in Disguise is released nationwide on 26th December 2019.
Watch the trailer for Spies in Disguise here: