A woman transformed into a giant after she is struck by a meteorite on her wedding day becomes part of a team of monsters sent in by the U.S. government to defeat an alien mastermind trying to take over Earth.
Under-age agents Juni and Carmen Cortez set out on their newest most mind-blowing mission yet: journeying inside the virtual reality world of a 3-D video game designed to outsmart them, as the awe-inspiring graphics and creatures of gaming come to real life. Relying on humor, gadgetry, bravery, family bonds and lightning-quick reflexes, the Spy Kids must battle through tougher and tougher levels of the game, facing challenges that include racing against road warriors and surfing on boiling lava, in order to save the world from a power hungry villain. Written by
Anthony Pereyra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
fun for the little ones, but the series is getting stale
Get your little ones ready for the game of their lives, cuz `Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over' will tickle their little bitty funny bones. This third installment of the popular `Spy Kids' series is like its predecessors in that it's high-tech, high-energy, high-fun, and high on the pro-family moral messages. What's more, it's in 3D, which requires disposable glasses, handed out at the theater. On the downside, the Spy Kids theme seems worn out, the actors have out-grown their roles, and the strong family-values messages are disingenuous and schmaltzy. In short, the cow's been milked for all its got.
But, anyway, back to the fun.
In this new adventure, Juni and Carmen Cortez find themselves on a mission to stop the release of a virtual-reality video game, aptly titled, `Game Over'. It is purported to be the best video game ever, and lines outside toy stores are growing around the country. But, the ISS has learned that the infamous `level five' captures the mind of the player, entrapping him eternally within the game. The threat, of course, is that `The Toymaker', played by Sylvester Stallone, is really out to control the minds of our youth, and thus, our future.
It turns out that The Toymaker himself is already entrapped in the game, so the only way to stop him is to actually play it. The movie begins when Juni, eager to be an `independent PI' at the age of 10, is called back to duty to the ISS to enter the game and find his sister Carmen, who had already tried to invade it, but was suspended in level 4. Juni catches up to her with the dubious help of a few experienced beta test players, who are determined to reach the 5th level on their own.
The true essence of the film is to simply show the video game, and with the 3D glasses, the 80% of the screen time that game consumes is definitely fun and worth the ride. The funny thing is, `Spy Kids 3D' makes no attempts to hide the fact that the only reason for the film is to show game. To wit, the plot points are meaningless, even to the point where the script itself acknowledges it: Juni asks why the Toymaker is caught in the game, and the answer is a humorous hand-wave, `Oh, it just happens.' The plot and characters are hurriedly scooted along to the start of the game, which then goes on and on and on, till the end, when scores of famous cameo appearances pepper the screen, all having fun and making statements about the importance of family, and yada yada yada.
Oh, it's not that there is anything wrong with such pro-family messages. But conspicuously downplayed are the genuine circumstances and feelings that were the impetus in the first, and best, of the Spy Kids trilogy.
The 3D aspect of the film involves wearing glasses that give depth to the objects on the screen. There are two ways to do this, and unfortunately, Spy Kids 3D uses the old-fashioned way, from the 1950s, where one lens is red and the other blue. The film is shot with the two colors shifted in opposite directions, and depth is perceived by the distance of the shift. Unfortunately, this mutes colors so much, that the beautiful and surreal colors expressed in the digital photography are lost. I can only assume that this was intentional, so as to give the video game its own sense of other-worldliness, which again, was nice.
With all its wild-riding and fun, Spy Kids 3D is just a movie for kids, unlike the first of the series, which was much smarter and hence, enjoyable by adults, too. So, best to drop off the little tykes at the theater with a baby sitter, and go shopping for a while. But, don't buy anything that's red and blue plaid, or your kids just may throw up on you.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?