HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sputnik
Seducao da Carne
Yes, God, Yes
Five Graves to Cairo
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
   
 
  Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Virtual Nonsense
Year: 2003
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Daryl Sabara, Sylvester Stallone, Ricardo Montalban, Alexa Vega, Salma Hayek, Mike Judge, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Holland Taylor, Matt O'Leary, Emily Osment, Ryan Pinkston, Robert Vito, Bobby Edner, Courtney Jines, Elijah Wood, George Clooney
Genre: Comedy, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: Having quit the agency former spy kid Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara) is more concerned with getting his hands on the world's hottest new console game, 'Game Over.' That is until agency chief Cesca Giggles (Salma Hayek) and her formerly villainous since reformed husband Donovan Giggles (Mike Judge) inform Juni that not only is Game Over part of a scheme to take over the world but his sister Carmen (Alexa Vega) is already imprisoned inside its virtual realm. Armed with a hi-tech suit and all-important 3-D glasses, Juni enters the virtual world where he teams up with a band of young gamers including winsome Demetra (Courtney Jines) on whom he develops a crush. Together the uneasy allies must battle level after level of awesome creatures, deadly death-traps and menacing machines in order to unlock the sinister secret of the Toymaker (Sylvester Stallone).

Six years before James Cameron ignited the 3-D revival in earnest with Avatar (2009), Robert Rodriguez tried his hand with the third Spy Kids film. Right from the expanding Dimension Films logo and elastic credits it is obvious Rodriguez is aiming for an old fashioned, unpretentious "stuff flying at you" 3-D movie. Never mind all that immersive storytelling guff subsequently used to shove this cinematic bugbear down our throats. Sadly, despite a handful of good gags, nifty ideas no amount of 3-D bells and whistles can compensate for the sloppy, shapeless storyline where most of the jokes fall flat, well intentioned morals get muddled and characters appear then disappear at random. Some of Rodriguez's concepts for the game world are cool, as when the kids surf molten lava or battle giant robot apes with lightsabers, but the execution is sloppy. The cartoonish virtual realm has that shiny metallic look a lot of CGI effects had back in the early Noughties. To facilitate the 3-D effects Rodriguez reigns in his usual exuberant camera moves which gives the action a static feel at odds with the premise.

In a bid to humanize a plot that mostly feels like watching some kid play a videogame the film goes overboard with the moralizing. "Family is important. Everyone is your family", says Gerti Giggles (an under-used Emily Osment) in one of several character cameos. Again, the message is well intentioned but clumsily handled and lacks emotional weight. With Alexa Vega's Carmen out of action for most of the plot Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over is more or less a Juni solo adventure. Daryl Sabara proves an enthusiastic but occasionally amateurish lead. He mostly stands around looking bewildered though the stilted dialogue does not help. Part of the problem is that the moral arc of the film does not rest with Juni at all but his crippled grandfather (Ricardo Montalban, relishing a rare late career turn in the spotlight) who bears a grudge against the interestingly conflicted Toymaker. Hammering home the core concept of forgiveness and family, Rodriguez brings back every character from the Spy Kids fold for a busy but clustered climax that plays like a precursor to the similar but superior finale of The Incredibles (2004). The star cameos are not necessarily a problem but are poorly integrated into the plot. Some are welcome but far too sporadic such as Salma Hayek (cute in pigtails), others strangely pointless like Elijah Wood as messianic game hero 'The Guy.' George Clooney snags the most memorable moment however with his end credits outtake lamenting the "end of his career" as he impersonates Stallone.

Ah yes, Stallone. For some reason Rodriguez seems to think Stallone is the new Peter Sellers. Sly is a star of many talents but man of many faces is not one of them. To his credit he really goes for it. Not only does he play the big bad but voices a helpful little robot and portrays the Toymaker's virtual alter-egos including a bald scientist, a wise old hippie type and a barking military man in a Prussian helmet. Stallone tries hard but watching him share philosophical debates with himself is more weird than witty. Still the giant robot Stallone is not something one sees every day. It was eight years before Rodriguez revived the franchise again with the very different Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D (2011). Yes, 4D no less.


Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1686 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Robert Rodriguez  (1968 - )

Hip, hard-working American film maker, a former cartoonist, who directs, produces, writes and edits most of his movies. El Mariachi worked wonders on a tiny budget, and since then he's made Desperado, the only good segment of Four Rooms, gangster/vampire horror From Dusk Till Dawn, teen sci-fi The Faculty, kiddie adventure quartet Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2, Spy Kids 3-D and Spy Kids 4-D, semi-sequel Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Frank Miller adaptation Sin City (which gained a sequel nine years later). He next teamed up with Quentin Tarantino for double feature Grindhouse, and although it flopped it did spur him to beef up the fake trailer Machete, featuring the Danny Trejo character from the Spy Kids movies, a sequel Machete Kills following soon after. James Cameron gave him Alita: Battle Angel to play with, but the results muffled his flair.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: