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Spy Kids More at IMDbPro »

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A superbly made, larger-than-life "Wizard of Oz" with gadgets galore that celebrates family values

Author: zardoz-13 from United States
11 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The pint-sized protagonists in "Sky Kids" do the darnedest things to save their imperiled parents from a mad scientist and his indestructible army of android urchins. This far- fetched, fast-paced, family-friendly fare fuses over-the-top 007 action sequences with childhood classics like "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Surprisingly, writer & director Robert Rodriguez's whimsically eccentric but warmly entertaining comedy thriller doesn't pander with the usual lowest common denominator humor and histrionics. Newcomers Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara behave neither like obnoxious ragamuffins nor precocious brats. Rodriguez forgoes the farce of the "Home Alone" movies and the flatulence of "See Spot Run." Instead, he treats us to a yarn as wholly innocent as it is implausibly outlandish. Not only does "Spy Kids" qualify as a must-see for twelve-year-olds, but also Rodriguez has revamped the kids' action movie genre with style to spare!

"Spy Kids" unfolds in the near future. Espionage agents have replaced armies, and Gregorio (Antonio Banderas of "Desperado") and Ingrid (Carla Gugino of "Snake Eyes") are the best. As spies on opposite sides, they receive orders to kill each other. Ironically, they fall in love, resign, marry, and raise two elementary school age children: Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara). Now, our ex-spies serve strictly as "consultants," until several secret agents vanish without a trace. Gregorio launches a search, and Ingrid accompanies him. No sooner have they entrusted their kids to Felix Gumm (Cheech Marin "Up In Smoke") than chief villain Fegan Floop (Alan Cumming) traps our adult duo.

Fegan Floop masquerades as a loopy "Willy Wonka" type villain with his own popular children's TV show called "Floop's Fooglies." Imagine Pee-Wee Herman on the prowl. Floop operates from an offshore castle shaped like an old battered boot with a candelabrum of Disney-like towers sprouting from it. Floop kidnapped those secret agents and mutated them into bizarre circus freak characters. Behind the scenes, Floop and Dr. Alexander Minion (Tony Shalhoub of "Monk") scheme to replace the children of celebrities and world leaders with robotic clones. Mr. Lisp (Robert Patrick of "Terminator 2") wants to buy them, so he can dominate the world. Dastardly Floop sends agents after Carmen and Juni, but the siblings elude his Thumb henchmen. Literally, these guys are all thumbs: thumbs for heads, hands, and legs. Carmen and Juni fill their parents' shoes and thwart evil.

Director Robert Rodriguez, whose credits include "Desperado," "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Four Rooms," "Road Racers," and "The Faculty," has come a long way since 1992's "El Mariachi." Typically, he saturates his sagas with buckets of blood & gore, so watching the sanitary PG-rated "Spy Kids" comes as quite a revelation. Aside from an occasional outburst of violence, "Spy Kids" poses as little a threat as a "Barney" episode. Nevertheless, Rodriguez stages these melodramatics with such skillful cinematic virtuosity that you find yourself sucked in by the momentum of the action. Indeed, "Spy Kids" qualifies as a superbly made, larger-than-life "Wizard of Oz" with gadgets galore that celebrates family values.

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an engaging film for the right audience

Author: Special-K88
16 April 2007

Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez are two secret agents who have seemingly abandoned a life of espionage in favor of marriage and kids. Despite their efforts to lead a peaceful domestic life, their family is slowly being torn apart by their lack of closure. They're called into action for a vital assignment to try and thwart a mad scientist/evil genius type, but when the mission goes terribly awry, the only ones who can save them are their two precocious children. Watchable, pleasant, but overly cheesy film really only works for younger audiences; although family-oriented and effective as eye candy, it would benefit from less camp and more smarts or substance. An overall air of silliness and a familiar, matter-of-fact message about the importance of family doesn't make this quite distinguished enough for all ages. **½

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Rodriguez's revved up kids film

Author: DAVID SIM from United Kingdom
6 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spy Kids is a film that falls into what I call the hidden treasure variety. Its a film that falls alongside others like Fargo, Meet the Fockers and James and the Giant Peach. These are films that all failed to strike a chord with me when I first saw them. But after I rediscovered them, they went up considerably in my estimation.

My first viewing of Spy Kids was not a pleasant one. I thought it was juvenile, stupid and sloppily plotted. In short, an overrated film that didn't deserve success or a trilogy. Still, there must have been something to the film otherwise I never would have come back to it.

My second viewing of Spy Kids was a complete about face. I really had a great time. It no longer seemed juvenile but witty, fresh and inventive. Amazing how a film can seem completely different after you give it a second chance.

The spy genre has had a sudden boost in the last few years. Kickstarted by GoldenEye, it brought Bond into the 90s, and was then followed by Austin Powers, a parody. Then came Spy Kids. Which also proved to be influential. Not only are there the sequels, but blatant rip offs like Agent Cody Banks, and even the excellent Pixar film The Incredibles has a shade of Spy Kids.

One thing that shocks you right away about Spy Kids is that it was directed by Robert Rodriguez. This is the man responsible for no-holds barred material like the exceptional Sin City, as well as sharp and biting satire like The Faculty. But to Rodriguez's credit, he hasn't dumbed down. He's brought his natural, exciting style of film-making to Spy Kids, and crafted a rip-roaring adventure kids and adults will love.

I could go into detail about the plot. But I'm not going to. Its inconsequential anyway. The real fun to be had is the dazzling display of stunt-work, special effects, visual sight gags and witty puns Rodriguez keeps throwing up at us. He's not always successful with special effects. Sometimes he indulges them to such an extent they swamp everything else. The exception being Sin City, where he melded it all into a breathtaking hyper-real world. And with Spy Kids, although I did notice obvious matte lines at times, he does a commendable job, and incorporates them without sacrificing narrative structure.

Rodriguez has also assembled an imaginative and quite superb cast. Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino are good value as the retired spies forced back into action. I love the story of how they first met. If you've seen Mr & Mrs Smith you'll have a good idea of what they're like. And their heart-shaped parachutes are great.

Alan Cumming is not bad as the one part children's presenter and other part criminal mastermind. Sort of like a cross between Pee-wee Herman and a Bond villain if such a thing is possible. And Tony Shalhoub is great as the power behind the throne. So is Fegan Floop's stronghold. A set so full of eye popping effects and surreal wackiness you're constantly blown away by what the filmmakers have gotten away with. Love the jigsaw puzzle floors too!

But where Spy Kids really shines is Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara as the dynamic duo. They make a completely believable brother and sister. Affectionately sniping at each other while propelled by jet pack, piloting submarines and using quick dry cement that looks like Silly String. The whole film rests on their capable shoulders. Vega is especially impressive. She has that rare ability among children where she can seem capable but gracious, and Rodriguez draws out a great deal of strength from her character.

The gadgets and gimmicks the writers come up with are very innovative. They beat the pants off anything Q could come up with. I'm especially partial to the electrically charged gum balls. And the dozens of robot kids put films with much higher budgets like I Robot and Bicentennial Man to shame. I love the use they're put to in the end.

There are so many delights to this film. The sight of Teri Hatcher getting her hair burned off by jet pack is worth the price of admission alone. And watch out for George Clooney's cameo at the end.

I'm glad I rediscovered Spy Kids. If I hadn't, I would have been missing out on a superior piece of family entertainment. Spy Kids soars just as high as any of this film's jet packs.

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Spy kids is a great movie which kids and adults can enjoy

Author: Argemaluco from Argentina
23 September 2006

I think Spy Kids is an excellent film which can be equally enjoyed by kids and adults. Spy kids is a great movie which can be enjoyed by the whole family. The exaggerations the movie has didn't bother me at all because it is a complement of the universe this movie has. Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega bring perfect performances in their roles. Robert Rodriguez created a truly fascinating universe on Spy kids. The movie is so fun and creative that I truly had a blast watching it. I enthusiastically recommend this movie,because it genuinely is an exciting and hugely entertaining experience.


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I love that music

Author: vivianle411 from Canada
13 May 2006

This movie is a good thing to watch because kids can learn from this experience that these kids have. This movie shows u about passion. It shows just because your have a sibling doesn't mean u have to be mean to them. Later on you will thank your parents on having your sibling. If you think your life is hard enough think about this movie all the troubles that the kids in this movies had to go through. They had to save their parents. Imagine you in this movie. And having to go through all the hardships passing your way. All you got to know is that this movie is the best. The best in the world. It is out of this world. now think about the kids. It shows that skipping school is bad. It shows even if you are little. You still have a big BRAIN. And thats not all you need in life. You need your looks. Your sympathy and no more then that is enough.

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Entertaining kiddie-flick

Author: Mel J from Dundee, Scotland
2 April 2006

For a film aimed primarily at children under twelve, 'Spy Kids' is surprisingly amusing enough with plenty of action and comedy to keep both kids and adults happy. The film is the first in a long line to use the idea of child spies as the plot device with the story itself centring on twelve-year-old Carmen and her eight-year-old brother Juni as they strive to rescue their spy parents from the grasps of Floop, a campy TV presenter with dreams of world domination.

There are, of course, an abundance of special effects in the film that are of a decent quality and a number of intriguing James Bond-like gadgets make their appearance. However, what makes this film engaging is the interesting story that walks a neat line between being moralistic without preaching (we have the typical sibling fights but they band together in tough times as well as topics such a trust and familial loyalty being touched on) and not taking itself seriously (the adult characters are there mainly as comic relief back-up to the child leads and they revel in this role). Also, the child actors, Alexa Vega as Carmen and Daryl Sabara, show they are talented enough to carry off the bulk of the film themselves with limited support from Antonio Benderas and Carla Gugino, who play their screen parents.

Unlike the lukewarm sequels, 'Spy Kids' is the kind of children's flick that older family members won't mind watching since the funny and action-packed plot and appealing performances by all the actors involved provide fun for a wide age range. In fact, the only problem I have with this film is that we can predict many mediocre copy-cat films, using the child spy concept, to be produced for the next five or six years until another fresh idea comes along, ripe for the rip-off.

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Goofy, Lovable, Thrill-A-Minute Comedy Action Junior-League Spy Thriller

Author: ShootingShark from Dundee, Scotland
21 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Carmen and Juni Cortez' parents keep an amazing secret from them - before their kids were born they used to be top international spies. When they are kidnapped by the villainous Floop and Minion, who are building a robot army of copies of world leaders' children, the two kids must learn lots of spy stuff fast so they can rescue them. Along the way they enlist the help of their estranged Uncle Machete, escape from the double-agent Miss Gradenko and confront evil robot versions of themselves.

This is a wonderful action-packed comedy spy movie which rattles along non-stop and is packed full of funny characters and Rodriguez' tremendous visual style. It somehow manages to romanticise spy movies and cheerfully send them up at the same time, and there are many terrific action/effects scenes (the kids' escape in a mini-submarine, the jetpack chase scene, a helicopter ride). The terrific cast give it their all - I particularly like Gugino, Trejo and Patrick, but everyone is great and Vega and Sabara hit just the right notes as the kids. They are kinda cute, but they argue good-naturedly; Vega has a great long-suffering quality and Sabara is just plain irresistible as the put-upon Juni, who not only has to save the world but get rid of his warts too. The movie is zippily shot by Guillermo Navarro (who has a walk-on as a minister), has some great music by Danny Elfman and features some cool special effects makeup by the Kurtzman/Nicotero/Berger group. Rodriguez made this movie as a labour of love for his children and it shows in every frame - it's just so much fun, and has a great underlying theme of families looking out for each other in the face of crises. He wrote, directed, edited and co-produced the picture, and also co-wrote the music and co-supervised the effects. This is a great director and a man who makes movies to entertain.

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*Grin* Wow...

Author: Japan Cauthon from USA
2 September 2004

Wow, after avoiding the series for years I got to see the movie SpyKids 3-D. Far from being lame and not the type of movie I like, I enjoyed it enough to watch SpyKids a few days later. Boy, what a surprise! I got to sit back and enjoy life again as fantastic stories were woven before my eyes, entwined with a pinch of realistic human emotion and a hope for growing up into something that exists despite the seeming impossibility of it. Be careful, innovative, compassionate, and completely unafraid of pursuing that which you love beyond all else. The height of enjoyment and good feelings I picked up during this movie was only paralleled by the soaring of my imagination as I went to sleep that night. What a beautiful way to make a kid's movie.

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Entertaining as heck. Forget your an adult for a second and watch!

Author: Lee Bartholomew ( from Cedar Falls, IA
28 May 2004

okay. so.. I'm almost 29 and here I am enjoying a kids movie. Frankly I don't care. Sometimes a fun movie such as this... lets the critic in me out to dry for a bit. After watching silly movies like Clockstoppers and so on.. This movie was totally fun to watch. The only disappointment. It's short. But hey it's fun nonetheless. Perhaps the spy kids can take a lesson from Harry Potter... and run one of their movies 150 minutes long. ;)


Quality: 7/10 Entertainment: 10/10 Replayable: 9/10

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A good start.

Author: Drew-Barrymore-Obsessed from Earth
11 April 2004

Spy Kids - Daryl Sabara, Alexa Vega, Antonio Bandaras, Tony Shaloub, Mike Judge, Cheech Marin, Carla Gugino.

The Plot - The Cortez family children find that they have to find there parents on a OSS mission so therefore they are spy kids with there parents. They try to rescue them from the evil Floop and his missing Foolglie.

What I thought - Good movie, It had potential and it was not a see it and weep it like you wasted you're money.

What was good - It had a nice family touch cause it was PG rated hey I liked it. People who didnt rent it buy it.

It is a 10/10

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