The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D
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Index 177 reviews in total 

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Huge Disappointment

Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City
5 March 2006

I was excited to watch this. I love fantasy. I love kids films. I loved the first couple Spy Kids films and liked the third. I also love the rest of Robert Rodriguez' work, although I knew that most of it wouldn't be relevant here, of course. And even when The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl began, I loved the first twenty minutes of it or so--up until about the time they arrived at Planet Drool, this was cruising along at about a 9 for me. But then, almost inexplicably, the film falls apart. Rather than a nice, tight, fantastical, almost absurdist film about a couple superheroes, it becomes a random series of events taking place in a computer animated world that looks extremely rushed and unfinished.

I say "almost inexplicably" falls apart above because as is well known, director Robert Rodriguez' son, Racer, came up with the story, which was supposedly inspired by his dreams. The material on Planet Drool does have a kind of dream logic to it, which in this case is to say that it basically has no logic to it. There are a few problems with this. Dream logic need not be "no logic". There actually is a kind of surrealistic logic that functions during most dreams, and most artistic works that we say have dream logic display this surrealistic logic. One event follows from another in a way that makes some sense; it's just surrealistic sense. Further, the material in the film prior to arriving at Planet Drool has that surrealistic logic rather than just no logic. And the most important point here--dream logic as the absence of logic during the Planet Drool section, which is the bulk of the film, makes it difficult to get into/care about what's happening on the screen. On Planet Drool, one event doesn't follow another logically, even surrealistically; it's all just random.

So it's almost inexplicable, then, because obviously there was a different approach to the first section. Maybe Racer approached it differently, or maybe adults such as Robert edited/revised it in a different way, or maybe the adults tried to edit/revise everything in the same way but just dropped the ball on the Planet Drool stuff. Whatever the reason, when they're on Planet Drool, the rules of the game keep changing, there's no sense of progression or an arc from one event to the next, there's no rhyme or reason to the characters, including the villain, and there's an uncomfortable combination of derivativeness (of everything from The Neverending Story to Wizard of Oz to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Tron to everything else that Racer has probably watched), groaner corniness (the puns based on heat, fish and dreams/imagination grow more desperate by the minute) and very poorly executed computer animation. The quality of the computer animation is worse than typical early generation PlayStation 1 games. It's not as blocky, but it is as rudimentary and incomplete-looking.

Of course, defenders of the film keep bringing up, "But it's a kids' film! You're not supposed to like it!" There are a couple problems with that kind of argument. Whether I'm "supposed" to like kids' films or not, I do like the vast majority of them. I've done a good job staying in touch with that side of my nature. It's very rare that I see a kids' film--and I do watch them just as regularly as I watch anything else--that I dislike as much as I disliked The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. I even love Rolie Polie Olie, and the last couple times (not that long ago) that I checked out Sesame Street and Mister Rogers Neighborhood I enjoyed them--although I know I can't enjoy them in the same way I did as a kid. I could easily see the quality of the material. And certainly this isn't targeted to a younger crowd than any of those titles are. So it's not that I would tend to dislike something just in case it is made to appeal almost exclusively to younger kids, and I doubt that's the case with any other critic worth their weight in movie popcorn.

Secondly, most kids are not totally devoid of any sense of logic. I certainly wasn't when I was a kid, and I didn't have any friends who were either. It's basically hard-wired into our brains. It has to be so we can survive in the world. So I can easily imagine a lot of kids not liking The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, either, because in the absence of some kind of internal logic and consistency, there's not much to draw them into the story, not like there is in The Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Neverending Story and the Spy Kids Films and Follow that Bird and just about every other kids' film. I agree that very young kids--say, maybe around three of four, may be more prone to liking this film, because it sure is filled with pretty colors and lots of movement. And even slightly older kids won't care about derivativeness (because they won't know) or corniness or anything like that. But you don't have to be very old to tell that there's something missing here that isn't missing in The Wizard of Oz or any of those other films.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A fun, smart, updated Dr. Seuss story!

Author: no_veggies from United States
19 February 2006

This is a fun, smart and original update of Dr. Seuss and Peter Pan story lines. It has a great look, fun plot twists, excellent puns, a fast pace and a great message for young and old. So what if the young actors aren't doing "Master Thespian"! All you need to do is see this movie with a child or let yourself remember your own sense of wonder and this movie will jump off the screen whether you've got 3-D glasses or not! The fact that Rodriguez lets the children have real worries and problems and a trial-and-error approach to dealing with them while learning a universal theme has all the traits that make children's stories timeless. It's not just a dumbed down story to sell toys and video games, although it would actually make a good game. Overall, a very fun film!

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A film that doesn't care what damage it does

Author: steve-1882 from United Kingdom
29 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sounds like an excessive statement for an ostensibly harmless fantasy. I wanted to like this. Admittedly, it's crass and confused about what it's trying to do and the resolution makes no sense whatsoever. But it's well meaning enough and Rodriguez is clearly in touch with something of childhood. In fact, Rodriguez is probably not altogether grown up himself, bearing in mind this is the man who made the sexually bewildered, adolescent and masturbatory "Sin City".

There is however one absolutely fatal problem with this film... The idea that a child on the brink of a family breakup has the power to make his parents love each other again simply by dreaming it strongly enough is nothing less than callous. It follows that the child who dreams his parents back together - and fails - has no one to blame but himself. Not clever, not helpful, and if any child buys into this fantasy, god help him.

Fantasies are probably an important way for children (and everyone) to deal with emotional pain - but precisely because they are fantasies - They can have power for (the inner) us, but they simply don't apply to the rest of experience. Not only to confuse fantasy and reality, but to make some sort of half-baked moral imperative of it has the potential to cause enormous damage, or at least to exacerbate damage already caused.

If the child you plan to take to see this is in any way vulnerable to such fantasies, I'd strongly recommend you don't.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: TheTreadSoftlies from United States
25 August 2005

This is movie is one of the worst I have had the money to see all year. It is boring. Plain and simple. The 3-D just didn't work for me. Instead of lingering on screen like a good scene of 3-D does, it goes by so fast that you don't have the chance to enjoy. Unlike the first 2 Spy Kids movies, this film by Robert Rodriguez does not have the same writing quality that made "Spy Kids" a hit. If your a child just as outcasted as Max (the main character)this movie does not teach you how to deal with your problems. It just makes up a solution that a troubled child cannot use in their lives. Do not get me started on the acting. In case you're saying to yourself: "This guy doesn't know anything! He's probably 30!" I'm 12.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Save it for the DVD rental

Author: Kendal from United States
16 July 2005

I'm a fan of this director's work. But suffice it to say that he was out of his element on this one. I've seen some flicks for kids and they usually have a cute style, witty, you know the kind. But this one was off base the entire time. The 3D didn't seem to work well, the mood was always dark, the effects were elementary, and the plot/acting was just weak (even for a kid's movie!).

The child I brought to see this basically wanted to leave within the first 15 minutes, and he completely gave up after an hour. We walked out.

Save this one for a rainy day rental, for kids around 6 and up who are completely bored out of their mind.

Signed, A Disappointed Fan

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Another Creative 3D Adventure by Robert Rodriguez

Author: MovieManMenzel from United States
27 June 2005

"The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D" was barely advertised. I just happened to see the trailer for it because I worked at Nielsen and got to see the trailer when we were testing it. I also saw the trailer once again in "Kicking and Screaming" but other than that, I never saw any advertising for the film. Therefore, I didn't really know what to expect when walking into the theater today to see "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl."

"The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl" is about a boy named Max (Cayden Boyd) who has a vivid imagination and is a big dreamer. In his dreams, he creates Shark boy (Taylor Lautner) and Lava girl (Taylor Dooley). One day in class, Max tells his class the story of Shark boy and Lava girl, but the class doesn't believe a word of it and just makes fun of him. After class, Max gets in a fight with Linus (Jacob Davich) who takes Max's dream book. You see Max keeps all his dreams written in a book so he always remembers them. When Max, goes home that night he wishes that he doesn't have to return to school but of coarse that doesn't happen. However, the next day something interesting happens, Shark boy and Lava girl show up at school and seek Max's help Max then goes with Shark boy and Lava girl and this is where the fun filled adventure begins.

One thing I can say about Robert Rodriguez is that he has a knack for film-making. He makes movies that are both creative and have unique stories. I actually liked this film better then Spy Kids 3D but not as much as the original Spy Kids or Spy Kids 2. However, in a Robert Rodriguez film once you throw in the 3D element you lose a little story. But this doesn't make the film bad or any less enjoyable. What amazes me about Mr. Rodriguez is how he can make films like "Sin City" and "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" and also make great family films such as the "Spy Kids" series and this film.

I don't understand why critics hated this movie but then again I don't always understand the critics. When watching a movie like Shark boy and Lava girl, you have to remember one thing that this is a movie made for the enjoyment of little kids. So if you think in that mindset you will really enjoy it. It's extremely creative and unique. It's a movie where your imagination can run wild. If you get into the film, you feel like you're a little kid again and that's a great feeling.

If you go into the theater expecting a cinematic gem you're not going to get it. The acting isn't as good as it was in the "Spy kids" movies or any of Robert Rodriguez's other work. The story is decent but won't blow you away. However the film is visually appealing and is fun for people with vivid imaginations. Like I said, go into the movie and take the movie for what it is, a great family popcorn flick that both adults and kids together can enjoy if you put your mind to it.

So in conclusion, If you go into "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl" knowing what to expect you will really enjoy the film. It's like Spy Kids 3D but slightly better because it's more visually interesting and the story is better. I always enjoy Mr. Rodriguez's movies and this one is no different. His directing technique is amazing and he manages to make films for cheap no matter how large the cast or amount of special effects. This movie is a lot of fun and is well worth the trip to the multiplex. It's a great film to bring the kids to and their eyes will be glued to the screen for the entire 95 minutes. I think if you enjoyed the "Spy Kids" series then you will probably enjoy this film as well. It's a fun film that is truly underrated.

MovieManMenzel's final rating for "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D" is a 7/10.

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Good concept, bad execution, and terrible in 3-D

Author: hoosierrevue from United States
24 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm sure kids will like this movie, but I found it to be a bit tiresome and at times absurd.

The 3-D effects that Robert Rodriguez seems to insist upon using in his children's movies (e.g. Spy Kids 12: Game Over, Man) were completely useless and extremely distracting. There are far more expensive ways to create a 3-D movie, and while I understand that Rodriguez is Johnny-Low-Budget-Director, I don't see the point in using 3-D if it's just going to look crappy on screen. I don't know how many 3-D movies you might have seen lately, as it was a trend that went out of style back in the 80's and all, but it's almost impossible to see anything out of those ridiculous glasses because of the dark red lens on your left eye and blue lens on your right. Most of the color is therefore zapped out and you're left squinting and crossing your eyes, all in an effort to see the fabulous 3-D bubbles that appear to float at your face. Wow, thank god that was in 3-D because otherwise it would have just been 2-D bubbles. And come on, that's just lame.

Anyway, so Max is a nerdling whose parents (David freaking Arquette and Kristin Davis—Rodriguez doesn't bother to give the parents actual names) fight a lot and might be getting a divorce. Max also has a really hard time making friends at school, so he retreats into his imagination and dreams of a far better, more desirable world. A world of drool. Yes, I can see how that would be much better. This dubious planet o' fun is ruled by kids, chiefly Sharkboy and Lava Girl, who are the beloved superheroes of Max's imagination. Max is discouraged from dreaming, however, by his friendly and well-intentioned teacher, Mr. Elecricidad, who encourages him to try and make friends in the real world. Max decides to take his advice, at which point his dreams (Sharkboy and Lava Girl) materialize in the real world using a random tornado (?) and enlist his help to save Planet Drool from destruction.

This is all well and good from a creative standpoint so far, so Max wanders around Planet Drool with Sharkboy and Lava Girl, trying to find an ice crystal that can save the planet or some damn thing. His classmate and friendly neighborhood bully, Linus, is cleverly renamed Minus in Planet Drool, and he evilly attempts to destroy the place in the same manner that he destroyed Max's dream journal in real life. Sharkboy and Lava Girl will have none of that, as they would prefer not to be eliminated by some bully who is really just sad and lonely inside (as all bullies are of course). Lava Girl, amidst searching for the crystal, asks Max what her powers are every five minutes. Um, you're made of lava. You've been shooting the stuff out of your hands throughout the whole stupid 3-D movie! But, I guess that particular power is simply not good enough. Sharkboy then takes the opportunity to chime in and whine to Max about his lack of an army of sharks, all the while yelling at Max to please dream up some cool new stuff, yo.

All of this nonsense is supposed to convey the message, don't stop dreaming, damnit! The audience is mercilessly beaten with the message in 3-D every few minutes. I think it's odd that the one grownup who doesn't stop dreaming, David Arquette, is an unemployed loser on the verge of a divorce. Yet despite this obviously dismal future for dreamers, Sharkboy and Lava Girl tirelessly repeat the message to Max (and the visually assaulted audience) every two seconds. In 3-D.

You know, I'm sure that kids will enjoy this movie, but I can't help but feel that there should be a standard for quality in kids' movies. This one, while conceptually pretty creative, falls way short of the bar.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This movie is in every sense of the word a true masterpiece

Author: Michael McMahon from Long Island
28 June 2014

It is a crime this website will not allow me to give this episode a higher rating such as an 11/10. I cannot begin to express in mere words how amazing this movie is. As suggested by the summary, it is in EVERY SENSE of the word a true masterpiece. We like to believe that near all things are subject to opinion, but this movie defies that belief. This movie is an ABSOLUTE good, nobody except those who haven't been blessed with the privilege of seeing George Lopez's head imposed on a bad CGI robot body are able to resist it's everlasting and inevitable charm. If you have any respect for the medium of film and entertainment, you will not pass this movie up. If you do, you are missing out on what is without question the finest piece of art that has ever blessed this generation.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

More like Stupid jerk off and Turd bugler

Author: keenan_peck from United States
30 August 2010

This was a horrible movie that needs to be torn in half. Then thrown into a pit of lava along with the other half to covered with blood and be thrown into a pool of sharks to tear it into shreds. I hated this piece of abomination of mankind. I did not to see this movie at all. It reminds me that sometimes, writers, producers, and directors make horrendous movies on purpose. I don't care if it entertains kids, it is a god awful movie that blurs the lines of reality.

I did not care about the heroes of this movie, I was rooting for the bad guys. The acting was terrible. The special effects are a joke and only made for the 3-D. The story is absolutely retarded. And I swear to God this movie was written by a Donkey's vagina. It was not entertaining at all.


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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

" Horrible special effects and broken storyline..."

Author: sdoughman1 from United States
3 June 2010

I recently just finished watching the movie "The Adventures of Shark boy and Lava girl". I have sisters and I managed to catch the movie with them while I was bored, and words can't describe how much I have come to hate this movie.

The movie involves a boy who's emotions inexplicably shift during the movie, a villain who clearly has George Lopez's face pasted in the middle, and a little kid with a mow-hawk for a villain. The movie is almost entirely shot in front of a green screen, and it shows. Sometimes the acting is poor and sometimes it isn't, and the environment looks so bad that it made me want to puke, especially because the background rarely matched up with the actors. The layout for the entirely computer-generated world seemed to have been chosen at random by a pre-schooler. I won't reveal the ending, if a viewer can make it that far, but it makes zero sense.

The acting is sub-par, George Lopez wasn't meant to be a villain, or a comedian but that's my opinion. Shark boy and Lava girl do OK, but they take themselves to seriously. The entire environment is to serious for it's own good. Most of the non-title characters did a poor job, and the villain would hardly even qualify as bad, in a villain sense, not an acting sense.

Some say that the 3-D version of the movie drained the color, and that would explain how the movie managed to be so colorful, but have such a dull environment.

The story-line is so broken down, twisted, and out of whack that by the end of the movie, you can hardly even describe what happens. I will try to describe this to the best of my ability. There is a boy named Max who is obsessed with dreaming and creativity, and is scolded for it. He writes all of his dreams down in a little dream journal, which is vandalized by a bully named Linus. His teacher doesn't like him and one day during school, Shark boy and Lava girl show up out of a tornado and are real somehow. They take him to the Planet Drool to help them save it. They go on several adventures, with little continuity, eventually trying to save the world in time from Linus (clearly inspired by the bully as they are played by the same actor), as well as trying to find a purpose in Drool for an over-emotional Lava Girl. I won't reveal the end, but it's anti-climactic, and is really when the movie takes a nose-dive into the trash-heap of poor movies.

In short, the movie sucked, and my little sisters spent all of their time during the movie, either making fun of the poor green screening, or the main character Max. So this movie isn't for kids, it isn't for anybody because it sucked. The only reason to watch this abomination of mankind, is the fact that Taylor Lautner is Shark boy. I am not a Twilight fan, but it's funny to see the kick-flipping actor at twelve years old, kick flipping some really bad looking bad guys. That is the only reason I gave this movie a two, that and George Lopez.

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