Spy Kids use all three dimensions

By Natalie Sit

While I do not have kids yet, or at least ones I acknowledge, I can see the appeal in a kiddie movie that entertains adults too. Ninety minutes surrounded by other sticky, shrieking children can probably pass quickly when the movie is half-decent.

The Spy Kids franchise is easily made tolerable by the imagination and care director/writer/producer Robert Rodriguez devoted to it. While he dreamed up wacky spy gadgets and fate-of-the-world plots, he was careful to balance it with the family dynamics of the secret agent Cortez family. But the latest and last installment, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, possesses those successful ingredients in scant amounts.

Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara) is no longer a spy but is forced back into the family business when his sister Carmen (Alexa Vega) is caught in a virtual reality game called Game Over. Somehow, Game Over will capture the minds of the players thus making the Toymaker (Sylvester Stallone) ruler of the world. So, Juni must enter the game to rescue his sister without letting the Toymaker, who is trapped in the game, out.

The big draw of this movie is the 3-D, which is exciting for about ten minutes. And, after seeing the hundredth piece of wreckage or glob of goo fly towards the audience, you realize 3-D is more a gimmick than a tool to tell the story. Though, I have to admit, Ricardo Montalban as Grandfather in a big robot suit in 3-D, sounding like Khan from Star Trek, brings some charm back.

The movie only starts hopping when Dad (Antonio Banderas), Mom (Carla Gugino) and the rest of the family show up to fight the Toymaker in the real world. Finally, Rodriguez uses 3-D to take the plot from mundane to unconventional and throws family into the mix.

It’s unfortunate the series ended with such a lame entry, but at least I have a pair of 3-D glasses to watch the latest Strong Bad e-mail.

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