This is one of the films we can recommend to the ‘ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages.’ Trust us, you don’t want to download the movie from the internet later and miss watching our spies in action, in 3D!
SPIES IN DISGUISE
CAST: Will Smith, Tom Holland, Ben MendelsohnKiara Advani
DIRECTION: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane
“Spies in Disguise” is an all-out detective movie, with a cocky yet successful sleuth saving the world time and again, a nerdy sidekick assisting him in his quirky endeavors, a powerful villain set out to destroy the system, and all that technological jazz to help the heroes. And to make the visuals as imaginative as conceivable, this one is computer animated and in 3D.
Directed by the debutante duo of Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, Spies in Disguise draws multiple parallels with the 007 James Bond series. Our hero Lance Sterling (Will Smith), the secret agent for H.T.U.V. (Honor, Trust, Unity and Valor) is an obnoxiously over-confident, tuxedo-clad detective who sets out to recover an attack drone from a Japanese arms dealer. Although the mission is fairly successful at the start, Sterling discovers he has been outwitted by Killian (Ben Mendelsohn), a terrorist mastermind with a bionic arm which controls an array of weaponized drones.
Then enters into the scene Walter Beckett (Tom Holland), a scientific genius who designs gadgets for H.T.U.V. A young genius who is socially inept and a pacifist, Beckett has been termed “weird” by his colleagues and contemporaries all his life because of his attempts to create peaceful weapons that protect and not kill—so not appropriate for a crime-fighting agency!
The two don’t quite hit it off but when Beckett’s newest discovery, the “biodynamic concealment”, is put to test accidentally by Sterling and which then turns him into a pigeon. The Sterling one-man-army is forced to unwantedly team up with Beckett and a small group of pigeons to save the day.
The plot of Spies in Disguise, although inspired heavily by hi-fi detective movies, holds a ground of its own when it comes to a unique narration. Even in its animated form, the message is subtle yet powerful. While most action movies demonize the ‘villain’ and glorify the ‘hero,’ Spies shows Killian in a grey area and his perspective is not entirely dismissed, unlike in many orthodox action movies. As Sterling says in a scene, the story is wrapped in a “good guy, bad guy vortex.”
Also, the ‘heroism’ surrounding violence and vengeance is dispelled. While Sterling believes in “fighting fire with fire”, Beckett—who lost his cop mother to a violent incident early in life—holds that there are no good or bad guys in the world and people are just people. This is the film’s central conflict which is expertly resolved in the end.
When it comes to performance, although the film has multiple characters, it is basically a Smith-Holland show. Both actors who’re giving voiceovers to their characters prove their versatility. Smith’s Sterling is aggressive, assertive and wrapped in self-gratification. Likewise, Holland’s Beckett is submissive, subtle, and quaint, yet when it comes to taking a stand for what he believes in, he is relentless.
With excellent performances, exciting 3D visuals and groovy background score that mixes hip-hop and old school funk, the film is an entertaining package. The only let down, if we may call it that, is the length. 1hr 42mins seems long for the story and some scenes feel a bit stretched. And for an animated movie, the humor quotient is a bit low, even though the film does have its hilarious moments