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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - Edition No 912 
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SPY KIDS 2

SYNOPSIS:
Carmen (Alex Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara) are now Level 2 OSS agents about to set off on their own solo mission. As children of top spies Gregorio Cortez (Antonio Banderas) and Ingrid (Carla Gugino) and grandchildren of Ingridís parents (Ricardo Montalban and Holland Taylor), there is a tradition to uphold. But rival spy kids Gary (Matthew OíLeary) and Gerti (Emily Osment) end up at the same destination as Carmen and Juni, on a far away island, where giant creatures are terrorising their creator Romero (Steve Buscemi). It is a race against time to find the Transmooger device which can destroy the world.


Review by Louise Keller:
James Bond for kids, Spy Kids 2 is an energetic, inventive and zappy adventure filled with colour, gadgets and larger than life characters. Itís a blast of a movie, that writer, director, producer, editor, production designer, cinematographer, re-recording mixer and composer Robert Rodriguez has devised and produced. What a calling card for this talented filmmaker, whose vision is such a fun and innovative one. So much so that just about anyone will enjoy it.†

The children stars behave like children acting out their wildest fantasies, and we are with them all the way. We can imagine ourselves at that age, pretending to pilot a transporter, or rescue a damsel in distress. You donít need to have seen the original Spy Kids to enjoy this one, and we are quickly transported into this fun reality, where kids are kings and are in control of the coolest gadgets that even 007 himself would envy. Expect the unexpected Ė from Grandpa (Ricardo Montalban) in a wheelchair with wings, to Steve Buscemiís wonderfully wacky mad scientist on the invisible island, whose vision has gone skew-wif.†

Itís witty, funny and never takes itself too seriously. Antonio Banderas manages to instil just the right amount of caricature into his spy dad character to bring some gravitas to the role. He makes the most of every moment and he is wonderfully entertaining to watch. Carla Gugino is lovely as spy mother, and there are some amusing moments with the uninvited grandparents, but itís the kids who are the stars, and their interaction is refreshing.†

Shot on high-definition digital video, the colours are bright and sharp and absolutely conducive to this fast-paced fantasy adventure. I like the way the gadgets are used in the film Ė at first itís like a showcase, but when the kids reach the Island, the gadgets donít work, and they are forced to use their heads to solve problems. The production design emphasises clean, sharp lines and I love the bizarre hybrid animals on the island Ė from miniature to giant Ė cat fish, spider-monkeys, dragon-like serpents and even a pig that flies. Alex Vega and Daryl Sabara are great spy kids, and the Gerties (Matthew OíLeary and Emily Osment) add their own elements of charm, providing conflict and sibling rivalry. Iím sure it wonít be too long before thereís a Spy Kids 3 and who knows about the video game opportunities, soft toys and books that could follow.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

SPY KIDS 2 (PG)
(US)

CAST: Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alex Vega, Daryl Sabara, Mike Judge, Ricardo Montalban, Holland Taylor, Christopher McDonald, Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin and Steve Buscemi

PRODUCER: Elizabeth Avellan and Robert Rodriguez

DIRECTOR: Robert Rodriguez

SCRIPT: Robert Rodriguez

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Rodriguez

EDITOR: Robert Rodriguez

MUSIC: Robert Rodriguez and John Debney

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Robert Rodriguez

RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: BVI

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 9, 2003

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: BVHE

VIDEO RELEASE: June 23,







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