Set in an era where superheroes are commonly known and accepted, young William Stronghold, the son of the Commander and Jetstream, tries to find a balance between being a normal teenager and an extraordinary being.
Having recovered from wounds received in a failed rescue operation, Navy SEAL Shane Wolfe is handed a new assignment: Protect the five Plummer kids from enemies of their recently deceased father -- a government scientist whose top-secret experiment remains in the kids' house.
Exploring the further adventures of Carmen and Juni Cortez, who have now joined the family spy business as Level 2 OSS agents. Their new mission is to save the world from a mad scientist living on a volcanic island populated by an imaginative menagerie of creatures. On this bizarre island, none of the Cortez's gadgets work and they must rely on their wits--and each other--to survive and save the day. Written by
Anthony Pereyra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Carmen and Juni Cortez are official Spy Kids, working for an organization called OSS (which probably stands for something, but I'm not sure what). In the opening scenes we see the President's daughter, Alexandra (Taylor Momsen from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"), as a special guest at a futuristic amusement park. When Alexandra gets herself in trouble on a ride called the Juggler (which actually juggles the cars containing the passengers!), Carmen and Juni are dispatched to help her. But then a backup Spy Kids team of Gary (Matt O'Leary from "Frailty") and Gerti (Emily Osment, sister of Haley Joel) Giggles are sent in as well. The situation becomes competitive, with the Cortezes rescuing Alexandra while the Giggleses retrieve the dangerous device (the Transmooger) that she had stolen from her father's office.
As in the first film, Carmen and Juni's parents are Gregorio (Antonio Banderas) and Ingrid (Carla Gugino), who are also spies working for OSS. Gregorio is up for a major promotion, but like his children, he is also competing with the Giggles family. The dinner at which the winner of this promotion is announced is the launching pad for the heart of the film.
Other key characters returning from the first film are uncle "Machete" Cortez (Danny Trejo) and Felix Gumm (Cheech Marin). And then there is Doctor Romero (Steve Buscemi), who is a very interesting character.
The "film" was actually shot using high definition video, which looked good enough to never be a distraction. It had been transferred to film for exhibition, so the normal film wear and tear issues applied, especially since I saw it near the tail end of its theatrical run.
Besides using digital video, the director (Robert Rodriguez) also used another trick to save money: he did almost everything himself. He was the writer, cinematographer, editor, production designer, and visual effects supervisor, and also helped produce and score the film. Apparently he did much of this work in his garage in Austin, Texas.
The first film was very fun and unexpected. This one feels a *little* too much like more of the same, and it also adds a touch more gross humor than I think it needed to. It's still fun and definitely worth at least a rental, but it's not *quite* up to the level of the first film.
Seen on 10/9/2002.
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