Spymate Robert Vince

You didn’t really expect a positive review of an espionage chimp movie did you? Too bad if you did, because I’m just going to tell you the truth: Spymate is cute, cuddly and well nigh unwatchable. Emma Roberts is a tween genius who’s developed a revolutionary laser drill. Alas, her special smarts attract the attention of evil scientist Robert Kind, who kidnaps the moppet and sets her to work on a super-weapon. This prompts father Chris Potter to rouse the troops, including super-spy primate Minkey, who proves the secret weapon against lovable but evil character actors. If you’re the kind of person who finds anthropomorphised animals the last word in adorable, you’ll find plenty to coo over, as Minkey does all sorts of heroic deeds and stupid pet tricks. But the film that surrounds them is a pathetic shambles — an ugly, underwritten fiasco dashed off for no better reason than to fill a void on the "family” video shelves. There are Arab and Asian stereotypes galore, with Pat Morita humiliating himself yet again as a ninja master, but mostly there’s an intolerable condescension to the target audience, an assumption that kids (and their parents) are too stupid to insist on anything resembling wit or beauty. The dullest Hollywood kid pic would at least try to flaunt its pop-cult hipster savvy, but this film is so lacking in intelligence that it seems to have never been within a hundred yards of culture, pop or otherwise. The people who make this sort of kiddie quickie are the lowest form of cinematic life, and they should be stopped before they make a film about a cocker spaniel anarchist who blows up candy stores. The only extra is a "making of” doc. (Disney/Buena Vista)