A Film Review By Michael Haley
|Rating:PG for some cartoonish violence and behavior.
Starring: Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas, Carla Cugino, Steve Buscemi, Ricardo Montalban.
Directed By:Robert Rodriguez
Because it’s Thanksgiving Break and I’m ready to relax, your review today will be short and to the point, which is more than I can say for a certain other Mike’s rambling columns (the guy who adores movies, although they usually don’t adore him). Spy Kids 2 is the further misadventures of the two pint sized spies, as they set off to uncover the secret of Steve Buscemi’s island, rescue the president’s daughter, get some thingamajig that will take over the world or something, as well as contend with a new set of spies, one of which is which is Haley Joel Osment’s little sister (and looks so much like her brother that it’s downright creepy).
Spy Kids had the luxury of being fresh and original, which only carries over to the sequel in spots. I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie, but some of the charm of the first one has run its course. However, there’s plenty to like here, as Rodriguez goes joyously over the top with the number of gadgets and cool adventures for the spies. Banderas, as the two spy’s father, has some funny moments as he deals with his father-in-law, played by Kahn himself Ricardo Montalban. For kids, the adventure is a lot of fun, as everything isn’t really scary but exciting, providing a fun outlet for a child’s creative imagination. Also, one can’t but help but really grow a feel for the creatures on Steve Buscemi’s island, who are so innocent and childlike that it’s rather touching (even creepier than Osment’s sister was that the previous comment was not uttered by Cuddly Michael, God rest his soul).
However, most of the readers of this site are college students, so will the magic carry over to you guys? It kinda did for me, enough for me to recommend it, although I know I would have liked it a lot more if I was ten years younger. The kids are spies in name only, as they go though a lot of action but don’t do much spying…something I hope Rodriguez keeps in mind for the third one (nothing announced yet, but it’s a no-brainer). Also, the film slows to a crawl a couple points, causing restlessness (perfect time to get some buttery flavor topping, aka pure fat popcorn!).
Spy Kids 2 isn’t quite a treasure, but it’s fun enough for me to recommend it and not feel bitter about it. The actors are having fun, and its especially fun for children (although I know a few ISU Seniors who were enchanted by it). Make sure you stick around for the closing credits, as Alexa Vega performs in what is arguably the best scene of the film, that’s worth the price of admission alone. If you’ve seen everything else playing right now, give this one a try…otherwise, look for something else.