In the world of espionage, some missions require an agent with a unique set of skills, possessing not just bravery but an ability to melt even the most villanious heart. This is a job for C.I.Ape.
In the 1960s, Sean Connery’s James Bond was the gold standard for spy movies. He defined the genre so completely, that his work spawned spoofs. The makers of C.I.Ape clearly had that idea in their crosshairs, and without question they hit their target. Repeatedly.
So thoroughly did the moviemakers bathe their primate parody in hammy, over-the-top, go-big-or-go-home fashion, that one of the characters acknowledges it openly mid-movie.
“Can we accomplish the task before us without bad James Bond dialogue accompanying it?” the chief asks his operatives.
The answer is no. No, they can’t. But that’s because they don’t even try. When the bad guys go for — what else? — world domination, it’s not James Bond or the Dark Knight who must answer. It’s not even Maxwell Smart or Adam West’s Batman. It’s Sam, a computer-generated chimpanzee who leaves bad guys in his hiney-kicking wake asking, “Who was that funky monkey?”
Sam works for the C.I.A. so that makes him the C.I.Ape. His teenage friend, the comedically named Bondi James, also was recruited by the agency to be his all-seeing eyes back at headquarters. Anybody that calls Sam a monkey gets corrected quick, although when Sam does something good, she exclaims that he’s earned his banana.
The bad guys are really bad, a league of arch-villains known as the Council of Crime and led by a comically costumed man who calls himself “Alpha Dog,” though those less afraid of the canine caricature call him Dan. They hide out on Wolf Hound Island, though a land mass in the shape of a dog must be hard to keep secret. It’s up to the C.I.Ape to infiltrate them and sabotage their nefarious aspirations.
It’s not all license to kill and the spy who loved me. There is a touching side to it, Bondi trying to reconnect with her father after losing her mother. Alpha Dog also has a daughter he wants to impress.
There is no spiritual message herein, just some mindless fun and, harmless as it is, merits the Dove-approved Seal for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
The movie’s about a chimp off the old block, who doesn’t monkey around when it comes to saving the future of democracy.