First thing I thought was this is a spy movie for kids, not worthy of taking seriously... maybe not worthy of a watch either. The slogan pretty much said it all: Rule the School, Save the World... but after a while of watching a realization started to sink in, one that jumped a few levels in the final course with the horse, that this was actually a pretty good movie after all. No matter your age group.
The characters all have their distinct villainy, or authority, or naivety, or any of those stereotype traits that characters do in movies like this... but their stereotypes don't work against them. The 'kid' doesn't make stupid decisions, the violence doesn't feel unnecessarily toned down, the threat doesn't feel overly cheesy... and the action choreography is surprisingly professional considering the target audience. Though this shouldn't be a surprise since Donnie Yen was in charge of that! YEAH!
We get to enjoy strong character personalities like Damian Lewis (who I first thought was Eric Stoltz), Bill Nighy and Mickey Rourke. The main character Alex Pettyfer doesn't do a bad job either. They throw in some smart product placement with the Nintendo DS spy equipment, some comedy, a good balance of the traditional personal vendetta, a just cause, a side story romance and spy drama intrigue and then of course the right-hand and left-hand and finally the boss man showdown and... it's not bad! Grand panorama views are intermeshed with mid-city chaos, awesome architecture and high-tech lab metallica. The plot's interesting enough, and though little in the movie manages to surprise, it does a good job at keeping the suspense level level at all times. Good watch.
rated 3/5: not bad