ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"Spies in Disguise" Movie Review

Updated on December 28, 2019
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life, he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Spies in Disguise
Spies in Disguise | Source

The last time we saw Will Smith (and Will Smith), he was fighting himself in the decidedly average Gemini Man—a so-so film that squandered its nifty concept and found Smith sleepwalking his way through a rote action flick. In the animated, kid-friendly, James Bond-lite effort Spies in Disguise from Blue Sky Studios, though, we finally get the real Will Smith back (albeit just his voice), and it helps make the flick a welcome treat this holiday season.

Smith is super-spy Lance Sterling, a gent with the most awesomest crime-fighting skills ever (without being a superhero) and an ego to match. He’s backed by a posse of gadget experts who work tirelessly to outfit him with all kinds of deadly gizmos… all except Walter Beckett (Tom Holland), who instead prefers to go the pacifist route, offering his boss things like a glitter bomb that distracts the bad guys by creating sparkle-tastic images of cute kitties. Sterling wants nothing to do with it and, in fact, fires Walter… right before accidentally swallowing Walter’s latest concoction, "biodynamic concealment", which turns the spy into a pigeon.

Turns out being a pigeon actually comes in handy, though, as Sterling is tasked with going up against the evil Killian (Ben Mendelsohn), who has stolen a hard drive with the names of all the world’s secret agents and is planning to kill all of them with a massive drone strike. Just to add another wrinkle, Killian uses his nefarious technology to frame Sterling, which leads Internal Affairs, led by agent (Rashida Jones), to launch an all-out effort to track down Sterling and arrest him. Thus, Sterling and Beckett set off on their mission—a young man and a bird against the world, armed only with a couple glitter bombs and an affinity for bread crumbs. (Don’t laugh—it comes in handy.)

Smith, back in his mid-90s form as a smooth-talkin’ dude with swagger in his step, delivers a memorable performance, and Holland is equal to the task. The rest of the cast—a supremely diverse group that includes DJ Khaled, Karen Gillan, and Reba McEntire—chips in, too, keeping the pace up and adding to the fun.

Blue Sky honcho Chris Wedge tapped his longtime animators Troy Quane and NIck Bruno to helm the flick (their first), and right out of the gate they prove they have the right stuff, infusing Spies with ample amounts of whiz-bang action and decorating it with vivid colors and snazzy animation. The pair takes the solidly funny and positive-message script from Brad Copeland and Lloyd Taylor and gives kids and adults an entertaining diversion during the holidays. Spies in Disguise may not have much of a shelf-life, but it’s a cute and entertaining way to get the youngsters to put down their phones, if only for a couple hours, and spend some quality time with the ‘rents.


3/5 stars

'Spies in Disguise' trailer


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)