Spies in Disguise, the new animated 3D movie starring Will Smith and Tom Holland is a movie that is enjoyable but feels very familiar in terms of the way the story progresses. This is that kind of a movie where you will not be bored due to the laughter gags you see on screen through visual choreography, dialogues, etc. The idea of having an innocent character who talks about making people happy and having empathy towards even the bad guys is perhaps the only take away considering it as a usual animated feature film.
Lance Sterling is the James Bond-like agent figure in the American intelligence agency. He has this way of solving high profile cases with ease and everyone is a huge fan of the man. Walter Becket is this young boy who is a scientific genius and he is that kind of a person who lives with principles like spread happiness, be positive, etc; an attitude that’s typically not suited for a guy who is building weapons for the coolest agent working for the country. At one point, the agency kind of misunderstood Sterling as they thought that he was misusing his powers for other benefits and the only person Sterling could trust at that point was Walter. The journey of Walter and Sterling to prove the latter’s innocence is the plot of Spies in Disguise.
Animated feature films are no longer just about visual beauty. Movies like Zootopia, Inside Out, etc. had made this branch of movies a little more appealing by pushing the boundaries. If you ask me whether any such qualities are there for a movie like Spies in Disguise, the answer would be a big no. At the beginning of the movie, Walter shows Lance a tool he created as some kind of a shield and if you are some with experience of watching animated movies, you will be just waiting for that tool to show up again in the latter portion of the movie. This kind of formulaic nature is getting covered up using humor.
In terms of Voice acting everyone has done a neat job. Will Smith makes sure that Lance Sterling is overconfident and egoistic with his voice tone. Tom Holland makes Walter a likable character that is not too naïve yet has a very optimistic approach towards tough situations.
The movie directed by Troy Quane and Nick Bruno is inspired by the short film Pigeon: Impossible by Lucas Martell. That short film was made in 2009 and maybe at that time, this kind of script may not have been a recurring theme. Apart from the overall fun factor, what I liked about the story is that Walter has empathy towards the villain Killian and actually there is an understandable reason why Killian wanted to destroy the image and career of Lance Sterling. The writing part could have been a little deeper in terms of presenting the villain. The visual choreography is engaging and there is a good pace to the overall proceedings which helps the movie in making the viewer think less about the usualness of this story.
Spies in Disguise is watchable for sure. But it ultimately follows a very familiar structure we see in most of the fun feel-good animated features. It’s that popcorn time pass movie that will neither bore you nor excite.
Spies in Disguise ultimately follows a very familiar structure we see in most of the fun feel-good animated features.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended