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Spy Kids

Spy Kids (2001) Movie Poster
  •  USA  •    •  88m  •    •  Directed by: Robert Rodriguez.  •  Starring: Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa PenaVega, Daryl Sabara, Teri Hatcher, Cheech Marin, Robert Patrick, Danny Trejo, Guillermo Navarro, Johnny Reno, Norman Cabrera, Trant Batey, Andy W. Bossley.  •  Music by: John Debney, Danny Elfman, Harry Gregson-Williams, Los Lobos, Robert Rodriguez.
        Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez are the world's best secret agents. Their mission is to assassinate each other. When they get within one inch, they fall in love. They marry, and have two kids, Carmen and Juni. They don't tell their kids. Ten years later, they are called into a mission. When their Uncle Felix babysits the Cortez kids, and rogue agents invade the house, Uncle Felix reveals the truth, their parents are spies and were just kidnapped, and Felix is not their uncle. Carmen and Juni escape, and try to rescue Mom and Dad, and save the world.

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 2:14
 1:35
 
 
 0:31
 
 

Review:

Image from: Spy Kids (2001)
Image from: Spy Kids (2001)
Image from: Spy Kids (2001)
Image from: Spy Kids (2001)
Image from: Spy Kids (2001)
Image from: Spy Kids (2001)
Image from: Spy Kids (2001)
Image from: Spy Kids (2001)
Image from: Spy Kids (2001)
Image from: Spy Kids (2001)
Image from: Spy Kids (2001)
Honestly, I don't know where to start. I first saw this movie when I was nine years old, and it insulted my intelligence then. Having just seen a few fragments recently while my younger siblings were watching it, I decided to do a comprehensive criticism of exactly WHY it was so terrible. And let me tell you, there are plenty of reasons. Here are my top three.

Number One: Story

Okay, so the concept of "Parents were spies, kids find out, have to rescue parents before plot to take over the world is successful," isn't actually ALL terrible. It has some holes, and is admittedly pretty cheesy, but isn't so bad, if executed right. Unfortunately, this movie wasn't executed right, for several reasons. First off, where the Tartarus did the script writer get the gods-awful idea to make the villain a kids TV show star?!? Yes, a sadistic, Burton-esque, disturbing kids show which uses mutated spies as it's actors, (more on that later) but seriously? What the heck? I seriously want to know what Muse (or lack thereof) whispered in your ear to have produced this bizarre monstrosity. Why did you choose to make the generic, faceless henchmen into THUMB PEOPLE? Why is your army of indestructible automatons disguised to look like children? Why did you have to make his base a fun house that seemed to have been designed by MC Escher in the middle of the ocean? Why are your supercomputers designed to look like little deformed cyborg brains? (perhaps to resemble the minds of the producers of this movie?) WHY?!? Ahem, sorry. Second reason: this movie brought the art of the cliché to an all-new level. Seriously, when my friend and I were watching this, we literally predicted EVERY plot twist. Keep in mind that we were nine-year-olds."Oh look, there's a bad guy who serves the Demon Tellytubbies show guy! I'll bet he's the REAL bad guy, and has some connection with their parent's past!" or "Oh, look, they introduced Uncle Machete, but he doesn't want to help. I wonder how long we'll last until he shows up to save the day?" And so on and so forth. In all, they could have done WAY better with the storyline, which was pretty much just crap.

Number Two: Special FX

Really guys, did you even try to make these effects look real? I'm all for CG animation, but honestly, you could have gotten better animation results from my 11th grade Graphic's Design class, and we were only using Photoshop! For example, during the scene when Mom and Dad Cortez drove their submarine car off a cliff, there was a glaringly visible change from real car to CG-ed car. All of the other fanciful technology (Escape Sub, Jetpacks, Thumb-Thumbs, Movie Room in Fruit-Loop Guy's castle, etc) was obviously green-screened. The lighting and shading was all off, the coloration was garish, gaudy, and generally crappy, and overall, the animation looked like a bunch of circus clowns came in and covered everything in overly polished balloon latex. It looked that fake. And don't get me started on the crummy rubber suits they did for the mutated spies. Really peoples? To quote the internet term, "DERP."

Number Three: Psychological Damage I swear, as a nine-year old, this movie didn't die in my mind easily. Even now, many many years later, it still disturbs me. Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but I saw Lord of the Rings around the same time, and the grisly orcs didn't even make me bat an eye. Yet the Burton-esque feel to the main villain was just too much for me, and the floating eyeballs, mutated dudes with their overly happy squeaking and tittering, and tinkly music-box music didn't help. Seriously, overly cheerful and bizarre kids shows are the stuff of nightmare. It seems like they went all out to make this particular aspect as weird and disturbing as possible, and I really can't understand why. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't SCARY or intense or thrilling like a spy movie should be, it was just WEIRD. Sort of the creepy weirdness that's usually associated with clowns or carousel music. It just felt out of place and frankly, I'm surprised no-one else has sued this company for psychologically scarring their kids. I don't know how to describe it, I just was seriously weirded out by this factor.

In all, this movie is scraping the barrel when it comes to entertainment, which is why I'm depressed that some relatively prominent actors like Antonio Banderas lowered their dignity and restating by participating in this blot on the name of film. Maybe they signed on before they realized what they were getting into, I don't know. The acting was the only commendable part of this film, which frankly wasn't much to work with. Kudos to you, the actors for a good effort, but not good enough to salvage this shipwreck. My only thought is that the gods must hate humanity to allow this monstrosity to exist. Which gods, you ask? ALL THE GODS! May mercy be had upon the souls of those who spawned forth this crime against art.


Review by zakatak3613 from the Internet Movie Database.