It’s either the shrewdest of conceits or the most cynical of ploys: Agent Cody Banks puts typically juvenile spy jinks (Vin Diesel-tested maneuvers like driving dangerously for no good reason and ogling girls with X-ray glasses) back where they belong: in the hands of a qualified juvenile. As 15-year-old CIA trainee Banks, Frankie Muniz gamely zooms through a ”Matrix”-ized variation on his ”Malcolm in the Middle” persona. Cody’s wide-eyed exhilaration at his first assignment — snuggling up to the daughter (Hilary Duff) of a scientist whose creations threaten the world — contrasts nicely with the anhedonic antics of such ”adult” entertainments as ”XXX.”
The real mission is product placement, of course: The movie seems to be set against the silvery backdrop of the Sharper Image catalog. And one has to wonder whether tutoring tweens in the objectification of women (including Angie Harmon as Cody’s den mother-cum-dominatrix boss) is acceptable collateral damage.