Action Adventure

Review: ‘Spies in Disguise’ is a Fun-Filled Twist on the Spy Genre

December 23, 2019Sherry Li

Spies in Disguise, from directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, is a hilariously silly and fun spy film packed with classic tropes and gags that's fun for all ages.

Will Smith plays Lance Sterling, the best spy in the business, who suddenly finds himself in trouble when a case of mistaken identity causes him to go rogue. Although he always works alone, him being hunted by Marcy (Rashida Jones) from Internal Affairs means he needs a way to disappear while he figures out how to catch the bad guy without getting caught himself. He ends up at the home of Walter Beckett (Tom Holland), a young genius formerly employed at the gadget lab of the very same spy agency as Lance and known for his oddball gadgets. A misunderstanding ensues and Lance suddenly finds himself turned into a pigeon, as he and Walter embark on a crazy adventure in order to save the world.

Spies in Disguise knocks it out of the park with its cast. Both Smith and Holland deliver fantastic performances and feel perfectly suited for their roles. The movie sets up these characters with ease, with Walter quickly being shown as the wholesome, well-meaning scientist and Lance as the cool and cocky spy, and their dynamic is fun to watch right off the bat. The writing, while not entirely original, is smart, witty and consistently hilarious, which is not surprising considering the cast. Meanwhile, the jokes, which could have easily been overdone and stale, are refreshing and will make audiences of any age laugh.

That's not to say the film lacks heart. Not only does it follow Walter's journey in finding his own footing in a society that often viewed him as "weird," it tackles the violence and fallout from the actions of American spy agencies and how subjective the term "bad guy" really is.

All in all, Spies in Disguise is lots of fun to watch and there are more than enough gags and gadgets to satisfy fans of classic spy movies — albeit with a very pigeon-oriented spin.

Spies in Disguise releases December 25th, 2019 from 20th Century Fox Canada. The film has an MPAA rating of PG for action, violence, and rude humor. Its runtime is 1 hr. 41 min.

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