Directors: Troy Quane, Nick Bruno
Cast: Will Smith, Tom Holland, Rashida Jones (VOICES)
Release Date: March 10, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
In this high-flying animated comedy, super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is none of the above. But this unlikely duo must team up for the ultimate mission to save the world when a “biodynamic concealment” experiment transforms Lance into a brave, fierce, majestic…pigeon!
‘Spies in Disguise’ tells the story of the greatest Agent in the business, the smooth talking, stylish and always prepared super spy Lance Sterling, a legend in the game and a name both respected and feared on both ends. But when Lance finds himself framed and put in a terrible position, he crosses paths with a talented young scientist named Walter Beckett who has spent his career working on non-lethal weapons to assist spies like Lance in the field. After Lance accidently ingests a new concealment potion of Walter’s that transforms him into an everyday pigeon, he finds himself hidden but also dealing with some new problems. Now the two will have to work together to clear Lance’s name and stop the real villain, not to mention trying to create an antidote for the concealment in order to transform Lance back to his human form.
‘Spies in Disguise’ is an enjoyable and fast moving animated spy thriller filled with over the top action, fun and laughs, taking things to an outrageous level that manages to come together into a more capable and entertaining ride than you might initially expect. Blue Sky Studios may not be as familiar of a studio name as Pixar or even DreamWorks when it comes to animated features, but they’ve nonetheless proven they’re capable of offering some nice contributions to the genre that hold their own against many of the more monstrous competitors with noteworthy previous offerings that include the ‘Ice Age’ franchise and ‘The Peanuts Movie’ and ‘Spies in Disguise’ is another generally solid film from the group that may not be the animated feature of the year but definitely still has a lot to offer.
The fun action and laughs are nicely kept on course by directors Troy Quane and Nick Bruno whose work at the helm of this animated family adventure is only complimented by a solid voice cast that includes Will Smith, Tom Holland, Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Reba McEntire and Rachel Brosnahan, along with a number more who each contribute to the fun in their own right. I would definitely urge households with kids that enjoy a fun animated adventure and fans young and old of similar animated movies to try and give ‘Spies in Disguise’ a shot whenever it’s convenient. It’s a fun, fast paced good time for the whole family that has a bit of something for folks of all ages and should provide plenty of amusing entertainment at the absolute least while also making a nice candidate for a family movie night at home.
Overall, ‘Spies in Disguise’ serves up a thoroughly entertaining adventure for the entire family loaded with stylish action, goofy fun and plenty of laughs along the way. Taking the familiar super-spy concept and embracing the vast scope of possibilities within animation to offer up an over the top approach that still stays largely true to the lovable genre while never hesitating to branch out and attempt some out of this world twists and turns with the material. Perhaps most impressive is how smoothly it actually manages to work and the star-studded voice cast led by Will Smith and Tom Holland helps to really make it all come together nicely. ‘Spies in Disguise’ is definitely recommended both for households with younger viewers and for fans of similar animated features that offer something for folks of all ages who should all have quite a bit of fun with this one.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Spies in Disguise’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic altogether and provides a sharp, richly colored and nicely detailed presentation from start to finish with no notable issues or problems to be found throughout. It holds up beautifully even during the various fast moving and darkly lit sequences, never allowing anything onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that should easily satisfy both first time viewers and fans.
The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a clean, crisp and quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. It continually takes full advantage of all seven available channels whenever appropriate in order to send music, action and vehicle effects, along with bits of crowd chatter and plenty more throughout the various speakers quite regularly, and never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a great 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every necessary way and makes a great compliment to the onscreen fun.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Spies in Disguise’ features some enjoyable bonus content for the whole family. The release offers the option of watching the Theatrical Version of the movie, or to view the Feature in ‘Super Secret Spy Mode’ which allows viewers to watch the film with bonus tidbits and pop-ups throughout showcasing top secret info and references hidden on screen and a lot more behind the scenes and making of information throughout. The release also includes some fun Featurettes and videos such as ‘Infiltrating Blue Sky Studios’ (running approximately 9 minutes in length) and ‘The Top Secret Guide to Gadgets’ (running approximately 4 minutes), in addition to Music Videos for ‘Then There Were Two’ (approximately 3 minutes) and ‘Freak of Nature’ (4 minutes), plus a look behind both songs with ‘Making the Soundtrack’ entries for each (approximately 3 minutes combined). The ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes) for the movie and ‘4 Still Galleries’ are also included.