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Month: December 2019

MOVIE REVIEW: Spies in Disguise

6.5 (Must-See) Fun for the Whole Family


This article is also published on Medium.com

Summary

Animated. Will Smith voices a super-spy who is transformed into a pigeon and has to clear his name after being framed. Tom Holland plays the young sidekick inventor.

Release Date: 25 December 2019 (USA)
Studio: Blue Sky Studios
Director: Nick Bruno and Troy Quane
Writer: Brad Copeland and Lloyd Taylor
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1h 42min
Starring: Will Smith, Tom Holland, Reba McEntire View Full Cast
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Spy
View Official Site

Review

Base Score: 4 (Pretty Good)

Finally, here is an animated movie that performs exactly as advertised. I saw the trailers, I thought it looked funny, and it lived up to my expectations exactly. There was no bait-and-switch. It was cool. It was funny. It was family-friendly.

What you see from the trailer is what you get.

The comedy of the movie appeals to kids (potty humor) while being tolerable to adults. I’m sure on the car ride home, kids will gleefully say, “Wasn’t that funny when you see that guy’s butt?” You can laugh and realize that this will likely be forgotten before the next kid’s movie comes out. There is nothing horrific that would be inappropriate for younger views.

What was refreshing is that there was some subtle humor that only adults would pick up on. That’s not to say that the jokes were “adult,” but that they were easy to miss. I chuckled under my breath at moments the kids behind me missed. I even snorted out loud in a too-quiet theater. Does my laugh sound like that?

It was good stuff. It is highly recommended. The modifiers below make this a must-see. Bravo, creators.

Modifiers

Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? Probably not. I saw the 2D version on a normal screen, and I didn’t feel I was missing anything.

Would I see it again? Yes, I think I would. If someone hadn’t seen it, I would go to the theater again. If it was on video, I would sit through it again. There wasn’t anything annoying in it. If a kid really took to it and I had to watch it 20 times… that’s what a cell phone is for. (+.5)

Should I rent it? Buy it? It was a great film, but you could save some coin to watch it on the small screen. This one would hold up to multiple viewings, so if the kids request it, buy it. (+.5)

Is it family safe? It is rare nowadays to have a family-safe movie. There is some low-brow humor, but nothing objectionable. Hey, it makes the kids laugh, right? I didn’t notice any language. (+.5)

Did it have “the look?” Animation has gotten to the point where a realistic image is easy to pull off. Well, maybe not easy, but technically possible. Then, the trick is to make something that is visually interesting. Something will style. Like a comic book. It’s not supposed to look natural. It’s supposed to look fantastic. This movie looks fantastic. (+.5)

Did it have “the feels?” Yes, this had some strong “triumphant” moments. I was brought to tears at one point. (+.5)

Score Breakdowns

Base Score: 4 + Modifiers: 2.5 = 6.5 (Must-See)

Spies in Disguise movie poster