Anthony's Film Review
Spy Kids (2001)
Pretty imaginative for the kids, but somewhat lacking in interest for the adults...
Spy Kids, directed by Robert Rodriguez, is one of those movies where I can totally understand the positive reviews but simultaneously have my own issues with it. They're not major issues, though, but they're enough for me to place my overall rating onto the lower negative half. For this review, I will start with the things I liked about it and proceed to what I didn't like. Again, if you liked the movie, particularly if you're part of the target audience of families and kids, then I'm happy you did.
Basically, Spy Kids brings the excitement of James Bond into a family film. Imagine your typical violent action and adventure with the gunshots, explosions, and blood replaced with things you'd find in an imaginative kid's brain. And instead of a dashing British gentleman as the daring protagonist, you have two adventurous kids. They are Carmen Cortez (Alexa Vega) and Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara), the kids of two retired spies played by Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino.
The adventure begins when Carmen and Juni's parents are kidnapped. The two kids start out as ordinary kids but gradually discover their parents' second life. They put on black leather suits and discover cool spy gear. They even learn that another character was once part of the world of espionage, and he helps the kids at one point. As for the villain and the evil plot, all of it involves a kid's TV show, the kind of thing that would appeal to this movie's intended audience.
For maybe the first half, Spy Kids isn't too bad. There are some cool action scenes, including one involving flying jetpacks and giant robotic thumbs. I like the cast, not just the protagonists but also Alan Cumming and Teri Hatcher in villainous roles. Most importantly, I thought the premise of kids being spies is not a bad idea. To some degree, it was executed fine.
The only thing I didn't like was just how it marginally missed the adult appeal. The best family films provide something for everyone. Spy Kids definitely delivers for the kids and falls somewhat short for the adults. I found myself bored and losing interest in the second half, particularly the end. My overall rating is a tough call, but I'm nevertheless going to give it a marginally negative rating. Again, if you think Spy Kids deserves better, then I can understand.
For more information about Spy Kids, visit the Internet Movie Database.