Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Robert Rodriguez Film School; A New
Kind of Stunt Kid; Robert Rodriguez commentary; Lost scenes with
commentary; School at Big Bend National Park; Essential Gear:
Spy Kids gadgets; Behind the scenes; A Day in the Life of the
Spy Kids; Still gallery; Art gallery; Transmooker Trouble game;
OBERT Rodriguez has always seemed like a boy playing in a mans
world when it comes to making movies, due to the breathless, giddy,
even mischievous approach he takes with most of his subjects.
Think of the exaggerated gun play in Desperado, or the extreme
excesses of From Dusk Til Dawn (which managed to combine
bank robbers, vampires and Salma Hayek dancing with a snake in
one film!), and a boyish grin will seldom be far from the face.
Now think of Spy Kids, the directors venture into childrens
movie territory; a slick little kiddie-pleaser that had enough
about it to appeal to the grown-ups going with them.
Well, here we have the follow-up - and boy does Rodriguez have
fun delivering what is expected of the sequel. Spy Kids 2 is faster,
cheekier, and more exciting than its predecessor, allowing the
directors imagination to run into overdrive.
This time around, Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni Cortez (Daryl
Sabara) head for a deserted island in a bid to save the world
with their parents (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino) and grandparents
(Ricardo Montalban and Holland Taylor) in hot pursuit.
Helping and hindering in equal measure are Matt OLeary
and Emily Osments rival spy siblings, Gary and Gerti Giggles,
and Steve Buscemis mad professor, whose Dr Moreau-inspired
creations are now roaming about the island (flying pigs and all).
Admittedly, Spy Kids 2 is completely silly and suffers from one
precocious child too many (none of the bickering mini-spies are
particularly endearing), but Rodriguezs frenetic style of
movie-making seldom allows the viewers (both young and old) to
dwell on this for too long.
So while the kids sit back and marvel at the mayhem, no doubt
dazzled by the directors visual flair, the adults can take
delight in the adult performances, as well as counting the numerous
film references, which take in everything from the Rodriguez back
catalogue to a well-observed homage to the effects genius of Ray
Harryhausens Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts.
Banderas, in particular, appears to be having a blast sending
up his macho Latino image, while the likes of Rodriguez regulars
Cheech Marin and Danny Trejo provide welcome cameos. Buscemi is
typically outrageous, while even Bill Paxton, Tony Shalhoub (surely,
now, the blockbuster cameo king) and Alan Cumming contribute knowing
And now that Rodriguez has indulged in some suitably appealing
childs play, its time to get back to the proper stuff
- with another outing for Banderass gun-toting Desperado
next on the agenda later this year; perfect ammunition for the
boy in us all.