Omair Alavi|Published January 11, 2020
With 2020 becoming old news, it’s the right time to talk about last year’s last film — Spies In Disguise. Featuring the voice talents of Will Smith and Tom Holland, the animated buddy comedy ends up teaching a lot of stuff to both youngsters and elders. The first lesson it teaches is to elders who constantly undermine the young, whereas its message to youngsters is to be persistent and set impossible goals that seem unachievable to others.
Spies In Disguise is inspired from a short animated film Pigeon: Impossible, but it just borrows the idea of a pigeon and a spy, nothing more, nothing less. Lance Sterling (voiced by Will Smith) is the best superspy in the world, yet he turns into a pigeon after he accidentally drinks an invisibility concoction. While Walter Beckett (Tom Holland), the gadget-loving teenage inventor behind the concoction, tries his best to develop an antidote.
Lance has to save the world, without his hands, feet, body et al. He has to rely on his ‘bird instincts’ to first save the world from bad guys who will go to any length to achieve their goals. How Sterling and Beckett manage to do that — if they manage to do that — is a question that you can only get answered after following their adventure, in 3D.
Besides the spectacular action sequences and fast-paced plot, the film also features an impressive supporting cast. There is Reba McEntire, Rashida Jones, Karen Gillan, and DJ Khaled, who are integral to the plot as fellow agents who believe Sterling has taken a wrong turn. Add Walter Beckett’s insistence on not using violence to resolve disputes and you can laugh every time he tries to win over the bad guy with a glitter, instead of a gun.
The film promotes peace as a solution and presents nonviolence as a weapon that can disarm a bad guy, without hurting anyone. There are the pigeons as well who make a great team, even if they can see 360 degrees, get distracted by breadcrumbs and seem similar to others in the flock.
In many ways, Spies In Disguise manages to entertain the audience of all ages; the interaction between the odd-couple featuring a superspy and a geeky teenager is too hilarious to ignore. There is a frightening villain named Killian (Ben Mendelsohn) who has a robotic hand among other gadgets. Add a conspiracy and you have good agents chasing a superspy who has to clear his name, as well as return to his old self.
The chemistry between ‘Spider-Man’ star Tom Holland and one of Hollywood’s finest action stars Will Smith is brilliant and teaches the viewers the importance of accepting help from others. Besides the importance of being a pigeon!
Published in Dawn, Young World, January 11th, 2020