Spies in Disguise – Film Review

Imagine your favourite spy film, where the super spy hero is being framed and chased by his own agency. The spy must do whatever it takes to clear their name even if it means going against their own people. Now imagine this same scenario but the spy hero is turned into a pigeon. Sounds ridiculous, right? Of course it does! But it’s this strange formula that makes new animation Spies in Disguise a fluttering success!

Starring Will Smith as Lance Sterling ‘the worlds most awesome spy’, Sterling works for a secret organisation known as HTUV (Honour, Trust, Unity and Valour) and has recently completed a mission to recover a stolen attack drone from a Japanese art dealer known as Kutsu Kimura. However after discovering he’s been double crossed by super villain Killian (Ben Mendlesohn), Sterling must now fight to clear his name.

Introducing Walter Beckett (Tom Holland), a young science technician at HTUV that specialises in gadgets that are designed to assist a spy without causing little damage, Beckett is confronted by Stirling after his gadgets were switched out with those of the non-lethal variety. Beckett, excited that his gadgets were used by the world’s best spy, is shattered when Stirling fires him. However, it’s after discovering he’s been betrayed does Stirling track down Beckett at his home, in an effort to help himself disappear. It is here where Sterling unintentionally drinks an unknown substance and is quickly (and hilariously) turned into a pigeon. Sterling is left with no choice but to team up with Beckett, other pigeons for the hunt of Killian.

Admittedly, the concept of the film does sound utterly ridiculous, but to the contrary, it is actually works. Will Smith has this uniquely hilarious tone in his voice that screams ‘what the hell’. As Smith is known to be both cool and funny at the same time, he is the perfect person to voice a super spy that has been turned into a pigeon. Although I feel that Tom Holland was somewhat typecast for his role as a young super nerd that loves gadgets, he was surprisingly brilliant and would love to see Tom Holland in more voice acting roles in the future.

Some notable mentions are the voice actors of the supporting cast; Karen Gillan as Eyes and DJ Khaled as Ears who are agents that work with Rashida Jones’ character Marcy Kappel from Internal Affairs are hilarious together, dishing out many quick one liners that had me cackling. The only negative for me would have to be the casting of Ben Mendelsohn as the villain, and this is because I am personally honestly sick of him being cast as the bad guy. Why can’t he be the good guy for once? He’s such a brilliant actor and I fear he’s been pigeonholed (pun intended).

Spies in Disguise (a word play of ‘spies in the skies’) is a hilarious action-packed fun-filled impressive animation that deserves your attention. I love birds (they’re so goddamn cute in this film) and to see them put onto the silver screen to become heroes is something I am truly thankful for. Yes, there are some character profiles and plot lines that we have seen many times before, but it’s the unique execution of this film that makes it something special.

Spies in Disguise is in cinemas from New Year’s Day and is the perfect film for the holidays. It’s not just for kids (or birds), but for everyone.

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