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Spy Kids (2001)

  Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Written by: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Alan Cumming, Carla Gugino, Cheech Marin, Daryl Sabara, Alexa Vega
Links: Spy Kids on the IMDb, Official site, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy on DVD, Buy on Video
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 6.50 (2 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 121st of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Spy Kids (2001) is also mentioned in mino's review of Four Rooms (1995), mino's review of Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) and em_fiction's review of The Master of Disguise (2002).

"Grown-up kids' movie" - a review by mino

Spy Kids is one of those weird films where you hear nothing but good reviews about it, but your brain sort of refuses to believe that it could really be as good as everyone says. I mean, the premise is weird (precocious kids discover their parents are international superspies kidnapped by TV host, have to go and rescue them), the casting bizarre (Antonio Banderas and Cheech Marin in a kids' movie?), and the fact that it's directed by Robert 'From Dusk Till Dawn/El Mariachi' Rodriguez just seems plain wrong. This is not a man who should be directing a movie for kiddies.

Funnily enough, the premise is as weird as it sounds (if not weirder), the casting is just as bizarre as it seems, and Robert Rodriguez does direct. And what does he do with this weird hodge-podge? Well, he produces a great movie that kids and adults will both love. There is a lot of disbelief to be suspended -- the gadgets and gizmos that the kids have access to are outright ludicrous, for a start, and the plot is fantastically out-of-this-world -- but it's stupid only in a 'great fun' kind of way.

The feel of Spy Kids is quite similar, in a way, to the Rodriguez-directed The Misbehavers segment of the vastly-underrated Four Rooms, even down to the loud-mouth bossy older sister and the impish younger brother, and of course the appearance of Banderas as the (very intense) father. Like The Misbehavers, Spy Kids has a very light, 'fun' feel, and while it certainly gets very 'stupid', you never seem to care -- you're having too much fun coming along for the ride. Not only Banderas, but also some other Rodriguez stalwarts are dragged along too -- like Cheech Marin and Danny Trejo from From Dusk Till Dawn (Trejo is probably best known, though, as 'Johnny 23' from Con Air) -- and despite the incongruity of having them appear in a kids' fantasy movie, they really live up to the rather silly roles they're given.

Admittedly, I'm a sucker for a really good kids' film; more serious film buffs might not find Spy Kids so enjoyable. But I challenge anyone not to enjoy Alan Cumming's over-the-top performance as Fegan Floop, the kids'-TV-show-hosting evil mastermind, who really steals the movie. Cumming owes a pretty big debt of gratitude, and probably a sizeable chunk of his wages, to Gene Wilder, because the Floop role is very reminiscent of Willy Wonka. Even so, it's a great role, and Cumming is, as always, fantastic at these sort of exaggerated performances.

I don't think there's a kid alive who won't enjoy Spy Kids; and I think a pretty fair number of adults will love it as well, if they just let themselves go. Switch the brain off, kick back, cheer the goodies, boo the baddies, and have a good time with the kids.

mino gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 27 May 2002

Movie review statistics

Ratings given without reviews:

Number of reviews: 1
Number of ratings: 2
Average rating: 6.50
Lowest rating: 6 (by em_fiction)
Highest rating: 7 (by mino)
 
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Reader comments

  1. i love the spy kids movies but i have one question will there be a spy kids4?

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from mary on Tue 18 Apr 2006 21:16 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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