A teenager with a “special set of skills” must stop a terrifying bully in this family friendly Afrikaans action film.
Walter du Toit is a 14-year-old kid who has lived his life being homeschooled because he has trained in the art of spying. His amazing set of skills has earned him the codename “Agent 2000”. Trained by his father, who constantly tests him, Walter has been given a mission who is about to change his life. Randburg High has experienced a dangerous bully known as the Executioner. This causes Walter to experience something for the first time in his life: public high school.
To assist with his investigation, Walter’s parents also go undercover to help him on the first day of school, where he poses as a nerd with a stutter. From the beginning, Walter finds it hard as he is forced to be initiated and follow the class president, Jean-Jacques, and his cronies. Walter soon becomes friends with fellow student Balie. He soon crushes on Chante-Amore, Jean-Jacques’ sister. However, while he soon learns the rigors of life in public school, he must focus on the mission at hand. Will he be able to find the identity of The Executioner?
A fun little gem from South Africa, this film meshes the coming-of-age teen film with the spy comedy. Think of it as Agent Cody Banks meets Fight Back to School. Mainly revolving around our titular agent, in this case a 14-year-old spy, going undercover in a public school to stop a notorious bully, we see him not only attempting to complete his mission, but adjust to a world he’s never seen before.
Paul Loots does a really good job in the titular role of Agent 2000, aka Walter. We see him in the opening scene showing his skills as a spy. However, things prove different when he enters public school. It is clear he’s never made friends, let alone be outside of his home. He eventually finds his first friend in the nerdy Balie Booyens, played by Janic Botha. While bullied himself, there are times that Balie can be seen taking a stand. We also see a case of Walter being bullied not only by the class president Jean-Jacques, played by Francois Jacobs, but also classmate Remardo, played by Kampterrein’s Ruan Wessels.
Walter’s first encounter with The Executioner comes after he and Balie are in detention. It is here where Walter struts some nifty fight skills while attempting to free Balie, who is tied up. It is also here where Walter exposes his real nature to both Chante-Amore, his crush played by Ring of Beasts’s Izel Bezuidenhout, and Balie. What’s great here is that Chante-Amore and Balie are willing to keep the secret and help Walter play it off pretty well. In addition, we see Walter really struggling with both keeping with the mission and adjusting to his new mission.
David James is great as Walter’s father/mentor Roelof, bringing to mind a look similar to MMA legend Bas Rutten. In a very pivotal scene, he gives Walter some much needed fatherly advice while it’s clear his mother, played by Karen Wessels, is very reluctant and tends to be an overprotective mother at times. As for the teachers in the school, one teacher learns of his identity and is willing to help keep the secret but there has to be the funny teacher as well. In this case, it’s Knysna’s Shaleen Surtie-Richards, who brings some laughs as art teacher Miss Schutte.
Of course, the third act involves an incident that predictably lands Walter in hot water with Chante-Amore’s father, the school chancellor, which causes the teen to lose his spy privileges until the plan of the Executioner is revealed and he is reinstated to protect the school from imminent danger and to make things right between him and new friends.
Agent 2000: The Executioner is a fun little spy adventure that has a few laughs, some decent action, and a nice meshing of coming-of-age film and spy film.
WFG RATING: B
The Film Factory presents a Samwerking/kyknet Films production. Director: Stefan Nieuwoudt. Producer: Danie Bester. Writer: Hydie Loots. Cinematography: Gerrit van Zyl. Editing: Dries Scholdt.
Cast: Paul Loots, Izel Bezuidenhout, Janic Botha, Francois Jacobs, David James, Karen Wessels, Ruan Wessels, Shani Loots, Marise Loots, Johan Scholtz, Shaleen Surtie-Roberts, Amalia Uys.