Movie reviews: Spies In Disguise, Official Secrets
SPIES IN DISGUISE (PG)
To get this animated spy comedy's bizarre premise off the ground initially seems like a mission impossible.
After all, it involves a young, socially inept scientist (Tom Holland) accidentally transforming cocky international super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) into a pigeon with his new invention of "biodynamic concealment", after which the unlikely duo team up to save the world from a cybernetic terrorist (Ben Mendelsohn).
As a Bond spoof, the story stays on the safe side and gets so formulaic that you will forget about it as soon as it is over.
That is not to say the experience is not pleasant while it lasts, especially when Smith and Holland play off each other so well and really make the most out of their very recognisable and distinctive voices.
There are enough laughs for both adults and children (from the bird and body swap jokes to a running gag about a tear-jerking Korean drama), and expect slick, inventive action sequences and lots of globe-trotting as befitting the spy genre (don't miss the opening yakuza showdown).
So while Spies In Disguise is hardly up there with the animated classics, at least it won't ruffle any feathers.
- JEANMARIE TAN
OFFICIAL SECRETS (NC16)
Those who followed the true story of British whistle-blower Katharine Gun when events first unfolded in 2003 will be glad to know that this docudrama lets its truth shine on the big screen.
Starring Keira Knightley as Gun, Official Secrets follows the tumultuous path of her life as a Government Communications Headquarters employee who leaked a confidential e-mail memo to the press.
It sparked a furore, and for good reason, as it contained directives that urged spying on members of the United Nations Security Council in order to potentially blackmail UN diplomats into acquiescing to the invasion of Iraq.
Knightley portrays Gun's raw emotions of passion, anger and fear with deftness.
With the deeply divisive issue of imminent war at hand, Official Secrets gives the audience a glimpse into the shadowy side of politics and government affairs while allowing Gun's courage to take the spotlight.
Chances are your life, liberty and marriage are not on the line, but this movie may make you want to risk them for a cause you believe in.
- LYDIA GAN