Restaurants Fun Places Movies Bands Lyrics

Spy Kids
Buy the DVD  Barnes &
Buy the VHSBarnes &
Length:1h 28mins
Cast:Robert Rodriguez, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa Vega

It's highly unusual for a studio to re-release one of its spring hits late in the summer, which is what Columbia chose to do with Spy Kids; ostensibly, cynics will say, to make a few more bucks while alerting fans to its imminent arrival on home video. But in truth, this unusual marketing approach only serves to underscore this surprise hit's unique and likely enduring appeal. Indie maverick Robert Rodriguez, who wowed action fans with his studio debut (Desperado) and avoided the sophomore jinx in his dazzling horror flick From Dusk 'til Dawn, brings exhilarating stylistic bravado to this wonderful fantasy. The setup sounds almost goofy: Self-confident Carmen and her insecure younger brother Juni Cortez have decidedly uncool parents -- but when a demented children's show host and his twisted minion capture Mom and Dad, the siblings spring to their rescue and discover that (whoa!) their folks are actually international superspies! In Rodriguez's imaginative hands, though, the payoff on this ridiculousness is absolutely sublime. As Carmen and Juni (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara, respectively) strap on the rocket-packs to save Mom and Dad (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino), the sense of gee-whiz adventure is irresistible. Alan Cumming and Tony Shalhoub make perfect villains, embodying genuine comic-book evil in their plot to rule the world using an army of cloned kiddie robots. Multiple viewings only enhance enjoyment of this pint-size Bondian adventure with its clever script, perfect casting, way-cool gadgets, and awesome special effects. Parents will especially appreciate that, save for one poop joke (okay, and it's a good one), there is no bathroom humor. And at a time when Washington is taking Hollywood to task for marketing inappropriate films to youngsters, here is a film that promotes family values. Count on the Cortezes to spy again together in sequels, and for imitators to follow in Rodriguez's creative trail. Donald Liebenson

Contact    Advertise

© 2003 All rights reserved.