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A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word
Analysis Date: March 14, 2003
CAP Score: 69
CAP Influence Density: 0.55
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Cast/Crew Details Courtesy imdb.com
Production (US): Dylan Sellers Productions, Maverick Entertainment Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Splendid Pictures Inc.
Distribution (US): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corporation
Director(s): Harald Zwart
Producer(s): Jason Alexander, Jennifer Birchfield-Eick, Robert Meyer Burnett, Kerry David, David Glasser, Danny Gold, Tom Gulbrandsen, Michael Jackman, Andreas Klein, Madonna, Mark Morgan, David Nicksay, Guy Oseary, Dylan Sellers, Bob Yari, Veslemøy Ruud Zwart
Written by/Screenplay: Story: Jeffrey Charles Jurgensen. Screenplay: Zack Stentz, Ashley Miller, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Cinematography/Camera: Denis Crossan
Music: John Powell
Film Editing: Jim Miller
Casting: Heike Brandstatter, Coreen Mayrs, John Papsidera
Production Design: Rusty Smith
Art Direction: Kelvin Humenny
Viewed At: Loews Cityview, Fort Worth, Texas
The Central Intelligence Agency pulls another fast one. Under the guise of summer camp and unbeknownst to parents, the CIA trains children as junior operatives for the CIA, as small fry spies. Cody Banks is one.
One might not think the CIA could have any business using children in espionage but sure enough, the CIA found a need for a 15 year old spy to save the world. Junior spy Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz), a smaller version of "James Bond" of American suburbia, is to win the confidence of 15 year old Natalie Connors (Hilary Duff), daughter of reclusive scientist, Dr. Connors (Martin Donovan) who invented nanobots capable of eating oil spills or anything they are programmed to eat. The CIA is hopeful that Cody getting to know Natalie more than socially will provide an avenue to get to her father before the bad guys complete their plans of world domination though Dr. Conners' nanobots. The bad guys, E.R.I.S chiefs Dr. Brinkman (Ian McShane) and Franscios Molay (Arnold Voslow) are after Dr. Conners to program his nanobots to eat the hard drives of the US missile guidance system by infesting the world's ice cubes with the nanobots since they are inactive at temperatures at and below freezing. Once thawed, the nanobots start chewing and chomping on anything they are programmed to chew and chomp.
Cody is assigned CIA handler Ronica Miles (Angie Harmon) who makes herself known to Cody by invading the boys' locker room of his high school wearing a one-piece "sprayed-on" outfit that almost covers everything ... except much of her breasts. (Of course. This is a young teen and preteen show.). An "Amazon" woman in a boys locker room? In a high school? Adolescent boys? With the boys dressed as one might expect boys in a locker room to be dressed? I suspect that description paints the point of the "message." It is the same "message" as in much of the programming. And just because Miles' outfit almost covers everything does not mean it does not maximize the female form. Camera angles don't hide much of her outfit's design, either. Or the shape of things under it.
Why Miles is the only female CIA spy in this movie is unknown and why she wears such provocative outfits when all the other spies wear regular suits and uniforms is also unknown. [I don't believe that, either.] Hey! It is a young teen and preteen movie for young lads with developing biological urges. And what young teen movie of today does not include sex of some kind? [Luke 17:2]
While Cody is assigned the task of getting to know Natalie well enough to gain information about her father, Cody is not known for his way with girls. His ineptness with girls is so severe, he simply stutters and is at a loss for words when he gets close to a girl. The CIA thought Cody was able to "woo" girls because Cody said on his camp application that he was a lady's man. When the CIA Director (Keith David) realizes Cody lied, Cody replies "Everyone does!" I guess that excuses lying. It might for many of the adolescents who watch this movie or at least embolden them to do so or try it just to see for themselves.
Even Cody's 10 year old brother, Alex (Connor Widdows) gets into the act of bashing his 15 year old brother's ineptness with girls with "I've had twice as many dates as he has." To which Cody replies "Setting in a tree house doesn't count." But the "PG-13" wisdom of Alex pipes back with "It does when you are playing Doctor." So, by Alex's "doctor in the tree house" understanding, dates = sex. I wonder where he got that? That paints another of the many examples of sexually oriented content of this movie. And it doesn't get any better than that.
Some of the neat "Bond" toys are a BMW skateboard that serves also as a jet-powered snow board, special espionage instruments that can project holographic images and a single-passenger open-air flying machine that actually looks like it would work in the real world. The flying machine, however, requires the standing pilot's feet to be rather far apart. And guess who is the pilot? Yes, agent Miles in one of her sprayed-on outfits. There it is again, that sexual thing. Oh yes. Let us not forget the X-ray glasses which reveals women's thong underwear to the wearer (and the moviegoer). Just can't get away from sexual matters in and as entertainment for our youth, can we?
And to throw salt in the wound, when Cody, who is treed after crashing his snow board, is offered a lift by Miles, he has to use the same foot pads as Miles in the single passenger aircraft. Cody is quite anxious to do so since that would place him face-to-face ... er ... face-to-chest with Miles. His face. Her chest. Him 15 years old. Just can't get away from it, can we. I didn't write the show folks. I just tell you what is there that the MPAA and advertisers can't or won't tell you so you can decide for yourselves whether it is fit for your family or not. By the way, the filmmakers did have Miles make Cody turn around before he got on board the flying machine with Miles ... after the other "message" was clearly communicated, though. [Eph. 5:4]
The above instances of sexual oriented programming may seem, on the surface, harmless or tame, right? Maybe not. Each little nugget of such programming serves, a tiny bit at a time, to provide an ingredient in the recipe for the adolescent's development of wholesome respect for sex. Such entertainment for developing youths is like using a tiny smidgen of dog poop along with the finest ingredients at 350 degrees for 20 minutes to make brownies. Surely all the germs and viruses would be killed by the 350 degrees. And all the other ingredients are of the finest quality available. But would you eat them? [Gal. 5:19, Ps. 12:8]
This movie is another example of using many lesser issues of assault on morality to garner the same "magnitude" as using fewer examples of more extreme assaults such as in more severely rated movies. Consider the following.
One of the features of the CAP analysis model is its ability to detect the use of many examples of lesser severity of assault on wholesome morality to get the same "effect" as the use of fewer but more severe examples in more severely rated movies. Some movies like Agent Cody Banks present programming with a great number of "harmless or tame" examples of assault on decency to achieve the same "effect" as more severely rated movies which present fewer issues but each of greater severity. For example, Movie A presents 100 examples of "lesser" issues of assault on respect for sex and on natural sexual inhibition. Each example seems "harmless or tame" and as such may be worth only ten "bad points" each. But Movie B presents only 10 examples of assault on respect for sex but each is bold and requires 100 "bads" each The magnitude (the influence on the observer) is the same -- 1000 "bads." Agent Cody Banks is an example of Movie A. Such is a subtle technique which may be invisible to the conscious mind but it is not invisible to the developing character. Nor is it invisible to the CAP analysis model. [1 Cor. 15:33, Eccl. 8:11]
And, of course, there is flatulence, dog urination and handling of dog poop. Gotta have that attention to "below the belt", don't ya know. Even if it is animal.
Agent Cody Banks earned a CAP final score of 69 which places it near the bottom of the scoring range earned by PG movies (68 to 86 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. Two points less (in a range of 16 points) and it would have broken into the PG-13 scoring range (55 to 67 out of 100). Further, the relatively low scores in Wanton Violence/Crime (38 out of 100), Impudence/Hate (44 out of 100) and Sex/Homosexuality (41 out of 100), warrant serious "Parental Guidance." Noting those three investigation area scores (38, 44, 41), realize that R-rated movies consistently earn final scores of 54 and below out of 100. That doesn't necessarily make those investigation area scores equivalent to R-rated programing in the literal sense, but it does most certainly indicate more research is needed. That is why we hope to make this a 25-year research ministry. Depending on funding, of course. You can become part of it
On a positive note there were NO examples of drugs and/or alcohol and NO examples of murder or suicide. There was one gesture of suicide as a guard placed his pointed finger at his head and his thumb "hammer" fell, but no murders or suicides. Also, there were only two examples of the three/four letter word vocabulary (maybe a third) [Col. 3:8] and two uses of God's name in vain in the increasingly popular three-syllable sentence with His name trailing it [Deut. 5:11].
Wow! What a fun-killing analysis. Well, I didn't write the movie folks and I didn't write the Rules. My job is to tell you what the advertisers and the MPAA won't or can't tell you so you can make an informed decision whether a movie is fit for your family or not. I cannot decide for you what is and is not acceptable for your kids or yourself. I will not answer for your management of your family and neither will the filmmakers, the MPA, the advertisers, etc. They will answer in their own way but not for your management of your family. I can only tell you what God says about the behaviors in the movie. He spent three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there. You and I did not. I am not about to argue with Him. If we think this analysis is fun-killing, maybe we should take a closer look at what we call fun.
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Offense to God (O)
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|NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|