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Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.


Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris


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Movie review

'Agent Cody Banks' broadens his horizons

By BILLY NORRIS
Published March 15, 2004

Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London

RATING: PG

SUMMARY: Teenage secret agent Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz) is is spending the summer at a CIA camp. The camp is stormed by soldiers one night and, Cody aids the camp's leader, Diaz (Keith Allen), in making a daring escape by helicopter. Banks soon finds out that Diaz has duped him. Diaz has stolen a system that can control the actions of any living being. Diaz and his cohort, Kenworth (James Faulkner), plan to use this software on world leaders. Cody's mission: pose as a clarinet prodigy at Kenworth's elite music conservatory in London and team up with a bumbling outcast agent Derek Bowman, (Anthony Anderson), to nab the criminals and save the world.

MY VIEW: Every spy film since the first of the Bond flicks has followed a specific formula: Agent gets mission, agent gets gadgets, agent meets girl, agent runs into trouble and agent saves world with the help of fellow agent(s). This sequel to 2003's Agent Cody Banks gets it right. The pleasant surprise about this film was its obvious attempt to broaden its appeal. While the first one was strictly an action/adventure movie for kids, this outing was made more as a comedy that can entertain the entire family. Anderson's blundering, slapstick style is a big plus. Muniz's new spy-girl, Hannah Spearritt is a fresh face who carried her role admirably.

RECOMMENDATIONS: This will be fun for everyone in the family.

GRADE: B+

- Billy Norris, 16, is in the 10th grade at Seminole High School, and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

[Last modified March 12, 2004, 13:58:38]

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