Eye For Film >> Movies >> Spy Kids (2001) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
At last, a children's film that is fun!
Those suffering from the after effects of Rocky & Bullwinkle, take comfort. With a little love, devotion and childish enthusiasm even a silly story can inspire hope in the future of the nursery world.
The secret is not allowing anyone near the creative process who isn't a blood relative. Robert Rodriguez wrote, directed, edited and produced this movie, which is taking things all the way, single-handed.
He is known for violent action pictures - El Mariachi, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn - which makes Spy Kids even more of a surprise. Obviously, with three sons of his own, there is another side to him.
In many ways, the key to the movie's success is Antonio Banderas, who showed in The Mask Of Zorro a genuine flair for comedy. Here he plays a suave international spy, who marries another spy (Carla Gugino) from the opposing camp and settles down as a security consultant in the relative obscurity of family life.
Not for long. The world is in danger from Fegan Floop (Alan Cumming), his minion Alex Minion (Tony Shalhoub) and the sponsor of doom, Mr Lisp (Robert Patrick). Floop presents a popular kids TV show, but secretly designs robots that will become an army for Lisp in his battle for the minds of America's youth.
The real stars are Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara), children of the retired spies. Carmen is older and bossy. Juni has warts on his hands from nervous tension and is the least likely action hero, being pudgy and uncoordinated.
Rodriguez's imagination is not reliant on special effects. His heart is in there, pumping away. Even when gags fall flat, they do so with style. Mostly, they don't, and laughter runs along the parapet like wild fire.Reviewed on: 12 Apr 2001