Spies in Disguise review – dizzying action, so-so jokes

The world’s greatest spy, Lance Sterling (Will Smith) is strictly a one-man operation. He relies on his wits, devilish charm, fighting skills and the deadly hi-tech kit provided by a small factory of gadget inventors. Walter Beckett (Tom Holland)is one of these inventors, a starry‑eyed idealist who believes grenades that blast glitter and project giant holographic kittens can be just as effective as weapons that kill and maim. Lance fundamentally disagrees. His first encounter with Walter is not promising, but it’s the beginning of a partnership that will change Lance’s life, not to mention his entire genetic code: Walter has invented a serum that can turn a human into a pigeon.

This pacy animation is the first feature for directors Troy Quane and Nick Bruno, both of whom worked in various capacities on other Blue Sky Studios productions, such as Ferdinand and the Ice Age series. With its giddy pace and dizzying action set pieces, it’s an enjoyable holiday watch for family audiences. What keeps it from top-tier animation status is that, while the relentless killer drone army usually hits its targets, the jokes don’t always connect.

Watch a trailer for Spies in Disguise.


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