- “Let the beat drop”
- ―Lance Sterling
Lance is a tall African American man with brown eyes, big eyebrows, and a large goatee. He usually wears a black/blue tuxedo. However, in his pigeon form, Lance has bright blue upper feathers and jet black lower feathers. A bow shape color can be seen on his chest.
Powers and Abilities
- Skilled Super Spy: Being a highly trained spy, Lance is skilled with various spy-based abilities such as stealth, hand-to-hand combat, and usage of high tech gadgets.
- Sleepy Night-Night: Lance is able to knock his enemies out cold via a karate chop technique dubbed "sleepy night-night". However, as a pigeon, this is less effective.
- Pigeon Physiology: After accidentally ingesting one of Walter's experiments and transforming into a pigeon, Lance gains various pigeon traits such as flight, full 360 degree vision, and an urge to eat food from the ground. Lance can also use his beak to cut through various materials; this is evident during the hotel chase where Lance uses his beak to free himself and Walter while tied to a falling pillar. It is shown he has gained the ability to understand them. Later Walter developed a device that allows Lance to switch between his human and Pigeon forms in an instant, significantly increasing his abilities as a spy.
Role in the film
At the Iwate Prefecture in Japan, Lance encounters two agents confronting him to which he knocks out two of them while noticing pigeons above him just as he contacts his Joy Jenkins about Katsu Kimura, where he is tasked to find the briefcase which contains the M9 Assassin inside, as Joyless explains to her that the M9 Assassin is the first semi-autonomous attack drone powered by atmospheric energy which never powers off nor stops chasing its target. Joy then explains to Lance that there are seventy Yakuza agents incoming just as she warns him to wait for backup to fight against them just before he cuts off her line.
Inside an aquarium at the pagoda, Lance spies on Kimura who sends his agents that Killian has arrived to get his briefcase has arrived just as Lance sees him taking the briefcase, he breaks out of the aquarium after activating Killer Beatz on his gadget and defeats a couple of agents to which Katsu stares at him. Lance urges him to give him the briefcase containing the M9 Assassin inside to which Lance engages in a duel against Katsu, knocking him out unconsciously, followed by Killian confronting him. Getting grabbed by his robotic claw, Lance notices an electric eel nearby to which he launches it at Killian to save himself before he kills him. However, a group of Yakuza agents bursts inside and confronts Lance while Killian takes the briefcase. Lance engages in combat against them to which upon flicking one of the agents' bomb and the gong inside the pagoda covers it, Lance then leaves the pagoda as the explosion blasts the gong like a geyser, sending Lance to Killian's helicopter to get the briefcase.
At Washington D.C., Lance drives to his agency, Honor Trust Unity Valor, and meets Geraldine as a crowd applauds for his return just as Lance greets his fellow agents with integrity. Lance then walks across a section of scientists testing their inventions just as one of the scientists points him to Walter Beckett where he explains to him that he used the glitter from him without permission. Walter then continues asking Lance about his inventions, much to Lance not feeling interested about Walter's inventions just before leaving and when Walter approaches him, he explains to Lance about him being the world's greatest spy just before Lance leaves. Lance then arrives towards Joyless who tells him to explain of why the briefcase is empty to which Marcy Kappel from Internal Affairs enters the room enters after explaining that the M9 Assassin was stolen, followed by her fellow agents Eyes and Ears. Marcy tells two soldiers to take Agent Sterling to custody to which Joyless prevents this to which it is revealed that in Tokyo that it is revealed that Killian (disguised as Lance) stole it as the real Lance tries to prove that it wasn't him who stole it.
Lance then plans to escape to deal with Killian, but the agency declares him as a rogue agent in a plan to prove that it wasn't him who worked for Kimura. Lance then begins to lose faith in himself about finding the imposter with Lance's face to which he plans to track down Kimura to which Lance's computer explains that Kimura is found at Playa Del Carmen in Mexico just as he sends Walter to help him with his assignment. Lance then arrives at Walter's home and drinks his tech to which it is explained that what he drank would turn him into a pigeon.
Lance finds himself as a pigeon as he reacts to what Walter did to him in shock just as Lovey finds interest into him to which Walter explains to him that pigeons can be found in every major city in the world, telling to him that a pigeon form would be perfect that every spy can take. Lance tells him to turn him back into his human for, much to Lovey having a crush on him thinking he's her mate. When Lance escapes, he explains to Walter that the reason why he escaped is because of Killian who disguised himself as Lance, explaining that he should prove himself that he isn't working for him. Still in his pigeon form, Lance tries to get back to his car, but is unable to, in which Walter plans to turn Lance back to his human form just as a group of H.T.U.V. cars arrives at the spot looking for Lance Sterling as Marcy demands Lance to exit the premises immediately. Boarding Lance's car, Walter tells the car's computer to auto drive to which the car drives by itself to evade Marcy and her fellow agents. Lance (still in his pigeon form) complains that he brought Lovey with him to which Walter explains that she is his support animal as Marcy, Eyes, and Ears prepare to stop Lance. Lance then asks the car's computer to activate weapons just as the AI follows what Lance requested to dispatch Marcy's agents just as Walter and Lance argue with each other whether or not the car should use weapons as the agents chasing them work for Lance's agency only for the computer to reboot itself after an overlapping argument to which the two manage to lose them across the highway just as Lance's car activates oil slick to escape from the agents. Having escaped the agents, Lance tells the computer to activate the airstrip so that the two can escape from the truck.
The next day, Lance (still in his pigeon form) goes to his seat and finds a touch screen just as he tells Walter to work on an antidote to turn him back into a human as he has been turned into a pigeon for 18 hours while Walter tells Lance about pigeon facts to which the plane suddenly arrives at Mexico, where Kimura is at.
Arriving at a hotel riviera in Playa Del Carmen in Mexico, Lance and Walter walk past a group of Yakuza agents to which while looking at a receptionist giving guests their room key, Lance devises a plan to find Kimura and finish his assignment to which Lance becomes distracted upon seeing beans, guacamole, tomatoes, and a noodle on the floor to which he loses control of eating the food and encounters Lovey, followed by two other pigeons who keep chasing him until sneaking into the receptionist's computer where he receives the hotel card to Kimura's room only to be slowed down by Jeff and Crazy Eyes to which he shoos them away only to be noticed by the receptionist who hits him with a keyboard and throws him into a trash can, leaving him unable to retrieve the card. Lance frees himself from a trash bag just as Jeff and Crazy Eyes arrive to which Crazy Eyes spits out the card to give it to Lance. Lance tries to go Kimura's hotel room as Walter asks him for help to which Lance asks Walter that he doesn't need any help and risks himself to find Kimura himself.
Lance then arrives at Kimura's room to which upon approaching him, he confronts Kimura with Lovey, Jeff, and Crazy Eyes following him into Kimura's lair to which Lance explains to Kimura that he sold the M9 Assassin to Killian, demanding him to know where he is. Lance attempts to let Kimura answer his question, but to his empty protests, a nearby lamp above him falls on him just as Lovey, Jeff, and Crazy Eyes retreat. Kimura grabs him and tests him to know if he could speak, but Lance bites him to free himself. Lance attempts to smack him, but his uppercut deals no harm on him, due to Lance being in his pigeon form. Kimura attempts to smash him with a chess table, but Walter arrives and electrocutes Kimura.
Lance demands Kimura to know where Killian is to which Walter uses his truth serum gadget against Kimura just as Lance asks him to find Killian to which he explains that he is at Venice on his way to steal the Agent Database to which Kimura warns him that when Killian arrives at the Agent Database, he will use the M9 Assassin to destroy the Database unless Lance stops him. Lance and Walter then push Kimura in front of the door to prevent Marcy and the other H.T.U.V. agents from entering just as the two plan to escape to Venice. Marcy arrives and attempts to arrest Lance to which Walter uses a grappling hook to evade the soldiers at the hotel to which arriving at the pool area, the two find themselves surrounded by a group of soldiers. Walter sees the multi-pen and Lance tells him to use it, only to be swallowed by Crazy Eyes which dispatches the soldiers trapping them into serious string as Lance and Walter plan to escape.
At the Adriatic Sea on their way to Venice, Lance sees Walter watching his favorite Korean telenovela who explains to him that the antidote will be done in a couple of minutes to which he notices Jeff and Crazy Eyes disturbing Lance onboard the ship, followed by Lovey going onboard to which Lance notices that the antidote is complete as Walter gives Lance the antidote only to find out that the result is a failure. Lance and Walter get into an argument about stopping Killian before he destroys the agency as Walter compromises of finding a way to stop Killian. As the boat arrives at Venice, Lance and Walter sail past the canals as he explains to him that he and Walter are headed to the Agency Data Vault, which is where Killian would be at only to be halted by Marcy again. As part of Marcy's empathetical plan to get Walter rehired, Lance follows her alongside Walter. Upon arriving at the Vault, the two notice a group of soldiers firing at the M9 Assassin which is resistant against the soldiers' bullets two which the two chase the Assassin, only to notice that it flew away.
Walter explains to Lance that in as a pigeon, he can fly fast just as he gives faith in himself so that Lance can stop the Assassin to which while about to fall off, Lovey, Jeff, and Crazy Eyes notice this as Lovey grabs him and teaches him to fly like a pigeon as the three pigeons teach him, followed by Walter catching up with him. In a plan to stop the M9 Assassin, Crazy Eyes blasts ice on the drone as it drops the device to help Lance to which upon grabbing it, the Assassin targets the pigeons and chases them across the town. As Lovey grabs the device, Lance tells her to throw it at him to which during the chase, Walter grabs the device to which the two find themselves at the plaza where Killian arrives.
Confronted by Killian, Lance is unable to attack as Lovey rescues him just as Lance escapes along with Walter and the three pigeons just as Lance, Walter, and the three pigeons dive down underwater via submarine. Walter explains to Lance that he put a tracker on the radar before explaining to Lance that he could have never done it without his help to which upon noticing that Lance laid an egg, it is explained that Walter used Lovey's DNA on the serum just as Walter explains that he needs to find one more ingredient for the antidote so Lance can be a human again.
With the antidote tested again, Lance takes a drink of Walter's antidote to which Lance successfully transforms back into a human. Now in his human form, Lance happily praises Walter for turning him back to his normal self as he gives him back his spy outfit just as he receives a message from the submarine's computer that the two have arrived at their destination which is the Covert Weapons Facility, Killian's hideout. Upon arriving, Lance discusses with Walter telling him to do it his way, telling Walter to be considerate of his plans. Lance demands him to leave but Walter refuses to to which Walter is left behind as Lance plans to finish his assignment on his own.
Arriving at the Facility, Lance is attacked by the M9 Assassin and confronts Killian where he tells Lance that he destroyed one drone as he is forced to deal with a thousand drones inside the lair just as Lance is captured by Killian as he faces many victims being targeted by the drones. Lance becomes enraged at him for betraying his agency for having a thousand of drones as part of his evil plans. Killian sends thousands of drones to take over the world. Seeing an alert on the computer, it is then known that Walter is on his way to rescue Lance. Life in the H.T.U.V. agency has become challenging ever since Killian launched his evil plans to take over the world.
Walter then arrives at Killian's hideout where he encounters Lance, explaining to him that he feels a heart in rescuing him just as Walter explains that he learned something from his late mother a long time ago before her death just as Lance and Walter team up together to defeat Killian and save the world from his drone army. Walter then encounters a couple of M9 Assassin models assaulting him as Killian confronts Lance as part of his plan to defeat him just as Walter sends in back up to help Lance defeat Killian. Lance then uses the same gadget he did back during his encounter with Kimura but this time against Killian, as Lovey, Jeff, and Crazy Eyes join in the battle, followed by Marcy, Eyes, and Ears as it is revealed that Killian is the culprit who disguised himself as Lance and stole the M9 Assassin just as Marcy apologizes to him for accusing him just as Killian summon thousands of drones to kill Lance and his allies.
Lance engages in combat with Killian along with Marcy just as Lovey, Jeff, and Crazy Eyes fight back just as Ears takes on the incoming drones. As the battle continues to rage across the world, Lance continues fighting against Killian as Walter plans to get into Killian's system and disable the drones to which he keeps getting an error message on his computer just as Lance tries to stop Killian in battle, but lets go of Walter who is still stuck on Killian and a M9 Assassin model. Lance then notices a piece of serum next to Lovey as it is linked to Walter to whoch he uses it to transforms back into his pigeon form once again. Lance then plans to save Walter from falling to his demise with Killian's drones disabled.
Lance comes to the rescue and saves Walter, followed by Lovey, Jeff, Crazy Eyes, and a flock of pigeons saving him. Later, Lance and Walter are approached by Marcy who doesn't recognize Lance in his pigeon form at first just as she plans to take him and Walter to turn Lance back into a human once again. Walter explains that he disabled the M9 Assassin drones, defeated Killian, and saved all the victims.
Back at Washington, D.C., Lance is transformed back into a human once again to which it is shown that he and Walter have been fired for their disobedience. Lance tells Walter to look at the world around him upon seeing the Washington Monument from a distance, explaining that his mother would be proud of him if she were alive just as Lance praises Walter for his bravery in saving the world. Lance and Walter are taken back to the agency by Marcy just as Joyless apologizes to him for misunderstanding him as a villain. Lance is hired back into H.T.U.V. once again to be the agent of the future, as Joyless tells him to lead a new team just as she tells Walter to join a new team to help the agency for their future. Lance then continues resuming his duty as a spy with Walter joining in to help the agency's future.
- Just like Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, Lance is an African-American who gets stuck in an animal's body for most of the movie.
- Lance is Will Smith's second animated film role after Oscar in the 2004 DreamWorks animated feature film, Shark Tale.
- Lance slightly resembles his voice actor, Will Smith.
- He shares his last name with the secondary antagonist of Cars 3, Sterling.