I’m not a huge fan of today’s crop of zany TV sitcoms, but Mr. Goddess likes a couple of them. And if you’re married, you know that watching your spouse’s fave show can sometimes make up for a week’s worth of dirty dishes still sitting in the sink...

Anyway, I’ve digressed again. When I saw Malcolm in the Middle, I knew I was looking at a kid goldmine in this kid, Frankie Munoz. Never have I seen a better prototype look for a kid star and he can act as well! I figured it would be a matter of minutes before they would shove him into films and they - whoever they are - would be right to do it. Kid stars’ fifteen minutes of fame rarely last quite that long - age being the harshest critic of all...

Not having kids, the Goddess didn’t rush to see Agent Cody Banks, but heard good things and looked forward to a video rental (and how many people can you claim look forward to a video rental?).

Cody Banks is a teenage Clark Kent, unable to talk to women or get respect from guys. Yet,

Cody is then tried out on a mission of intense importance, but uh oh. All his spy talents don’t matter as much as his ability to insinuate himself into the life of Hilary Duff. He could sell her lipstick for all that smiling she does, came to my mind. But they didn’t go that way.

Two quick side notes: this movie has Arnold Vosloo, the sexiest South African bad guy on 24, another great show I have never seen. Also, gorgeous Angie Harmon is back on screen. She’s been missing, having kids since she left Law & Order. Either maternity has been very, very good to her - or she took a little extra time off and got some built in flotatio

But I digress once again. Doesn’t life sometimes seem like a long series of digressions?

What ensues is a fast-paced, fairly glib adventure with laughs, a fun story and Hilary Duff (if you like Hilary Duff. I liked the film despite her.). The pacing is exciting, the story holds your attention, the characters are fun. And then there’s Frankie Munoz, carrying the entire film effortlessly, as we always knew he could do - one of the greatest kid stars.... maybe ever!

All that and some cool gizmos too! This is a fun family view.

Additional Note: My favorite line in the whole thing is between Cody and the CIA bigwig. Following an explanation of a certain procedure, Cody asks the bigwig, “but isn’t that kinda creepy?”

Bigwig: We’re the CIA. That’s what we do.

Copyright © 2006 CTarr