April 19, 2003

Spy Kids 2

Last night we watched Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams, director Robert Rodriguez's follow up to the hit kid-flick from 2001. (Rodriguez is almost a one-man production company on this movie. He's also credited as writer, cinematographer, editor, production designer, sound effects editor, and visual effects supervisor plus he shares credit as producer and composer!) The first movie wowed audiences with a spy movie for the pre-teen set, complete with gadgets James Bond would kill for. In this follow up there's more action, more gadgets, and more laughs. Relative unknowns Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara reprise their roles as the children of spy parents. This time the kids are spies in their own right and head off on a mission of their own. Their parents (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino) follow after them to try to protect them, and their grandparents (Ricardo Montalban and Holland Taylor) tag after them cause they don't have much confidence in the parents' ability to bail out the kids.

It's a very light movie with a PG rating for action and some rude humor. But unlike some kid movies where there's nothing for the parents, this one has fun details that the kids probably won't notice. Like homages to Raiders of the Lost Ark and Spider Man and a skeleton fight scene that would make Ray Harryhausen proud. And the adult actors are fun to watch, especially Steve Buscemi as a mad geneticist and Montalban looking like he's having the time of his life as Antonio Banderas's father-in-law.

The DVD has a boat-load of extras. The most fun is a "10-minute film school" segment narrated by Rodriguez showing how he makes fancy shots for cheap (and not just by not paying anybody else to do all the stuff he's doing himself).

Verdict: 3 stars (out of 4)

Posted by jeffy at April 19, 2003 08:37 PM