SPY KIDS 3D: GAME OVER
Having left the OSS and the family business of spying, Juni (Daryl Sabara) is now working as a private eye with his elder sister Carmen (Alex Vega), parents Gregorio (Antonio Banderas) and Ingrid (Carla Gugino). But when top-secret agent Francesca (Salma Hayek) contacts Juni, alerting him to Carmen’s plight, lost in the reality of a video game created by The Toymaker (Sylvester Stallone), he is back on the case. Not only is Juni’s mission to save Carmen, but also to save the youth of the world, whose minds will be hijacked by The Toymaker’s game.
Review by Louise Keller:
With his foot flat on the innovation accelerator, Robert Rodriguez invites his audience to don 3D glasses and enter the boundless virtual world of a video game. In the company of the already established characters from the first two Spy Kids movies, Spy Kids 3D is somewhat different from the other two, in that most of the film’s reality lies within the heart of the game.
The effects are at times splendid, but perhaps Rodriguez was worried about his audience wearing 3D glasses for the entirety of the 84 minute running time, because we are asked to put the glasses on, take them off and put them on again as prompted. (I have visions of youngsters dropping their glasses and having to scramble to find them again.) Multi-talented Rodriguez once again has credits as director, producer, writer, editor, cinematographer, music and production design; he is good at everything! He also, has recruited Salma Hayek (who has appeared in most of his films), playing the Giggles Spy Kids’ concerned mother. Plus there are some fresh cameos - from George Clooney’s President of the United States and Elijah Wood’s appearance as ‘the man’ is a very cute touch.
But the focus of this virtual adventure is on Daryl Sabara’s Juni, who takes up the quest, plays the game and in doing so, saves the world – or the world’s youth. The mega-race takes place on the dark side of the moon, and is like a giant roller-coaster ride; we are zooming along at full speed, bearing in mind that there are no rules, except to win. The ideas never dry up and I love the idea of the pogo-toads with giant blue tongues that protrude like a slithering snake, bouncing playfully on the digitally enhanced background. Sylvester Stallone is a larger-than life villain, and is well cast as The Toymaker. Although the notion to give him other guises showcasing his different personalities is not new, they are entertaining and amusing. Yes, he’s bald, a bespectacled, hippie with long white hair and uniformed. But there’s nothing Stallone can do to disguise his lop-sided mouth, or the Stallone-drawl.
I was disappointed that Antonio Banderas (and Carla Gugino) didn’t appear until the very end of the film, making an almost token appearance, but Rodriguez never lacks the gumption to take risks. Spy Kids 3D may not be as successful as the other two films, but it’s a virtual visual spectacle that offers plenty of gusto.
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SPY KIDS 3D: GAME OVER (PG)
CAST: Daryl Sabara, Alexa Vega, Salma Hayek, Sylvester Stallone, Ricardo Montalban, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino
PRODUCER: Robert Rodriguez, Elizabeth Avellan
DIRECTOR: Robert Rodriguez
SCRIPT: Robert Rodriguez
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Rodriguez
EDITOR: Robert Rodriguez
MUSIC: Robert Rodriguez
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Robert Rodriguez
RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: BVI
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 1, 2004