‘Spies in Disguise’ Review

Spies in Disguise
A scene from ‘Spies in Disguise’ (Photo: Blue Sky Studios; TM and © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Inc)

“You better un-bird me right now!” says Lance Sterling (voiced by Will Smith). “Technically, you kinda birded yourself,” replies Walter Beckett (voiced by Tom Holland) who’s responsible for turning the superspy into a pigeon in the animated comedy film, Spies in Disguise.

Smooth, suave, and intelligent, Lance Sterling is the best spy in the business. After surviving an important mission, Lance discovers he’s been framed for committing treason. Desperate to clear his name and bring the master criminal framing him to justice, Lance asks for help from the brilliant, nerdy, and well-meaning but annoying tech officer, Walter. What Lance believes he needs is a disguise that will make him invisible to the authorities hunting him. Lance unknowingly drinks Walter’s latest experiment, thinking it’s water. It’s not…and he transforms into a pigeon.

Shocked and justifiably upset, Lance demands to be turned back into himself. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen right away because Walter’s still working on an antidote. As a pigeon, Lance now has a unique disguise, but it also means he’s in need of a human assistant. Because of his new feathered situation, Lance is forced to team up with Walter to catch the master criminal and clear his name.

Featuring bright and colorful animation, Spies in Disguise is a goofy slapstick animated action film children will enjoy and adults will likely chuckle along with (although the jokes are hit and miss). It’s basically a wacky Bond spoof mixed with an oddball buddy comedy film.

Will Smith is Will Smith voicing Lance Sterling, the superspy who turns into a pigeon and ends up having to depend on and work with Walter in order to clear his name and stop a master criminal. Smith’s perfect at bringing to life both the debonair and confident spy and his freaked out and panicked side once he’s a bird.

Tom Holland is solid as Walter, the smart and geeky tech genius who’s thrilled to be working with Lance and loves the fact he was able to turn him into a bird. Although Holland’s Walter is good-intentioned, through at least half of the film the character’s a bit too aggravating to really like or sympathize with.

Wacky with funny action scenes and solid chemistry between voice actors Smith and Holland, Spies in Disguise is an entertaining action-adventure for kids that should have the adults smiling.


MPAA Rating: PG for action, violence, and rude humor

Running Time: 101 minutes

Release Date: December 25, 2019

Directed By: Troy Quane and Nick Bruno

Studio: 20th Century Fox