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Overall Rating
3.79

Awesome: 25%
Worth A Look56.25%
Average: 1.79%
Pretty Bad: 7.14%
Total Crap: 9.82%

10 reviews, 52 user ratings


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Spy Kids
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by Greg Muskewitz

"The most delightful, unexpected surprise yet."
5 stars

"Spy Kids" is the type of rare film that perfectly appeals both to child audiences and adult audiences. You take a genre that appeals en masse and formulate it to create a wider group of viewers. The results always have the chance of being disastrous like "Small Soldiers," but that's because the violence far exceeded anything kids needed to see, and was too immature for adults. However, "Spy Kids" uses a positive message to reinforce certain messages it wants to point out.

Opposing world-class spies Gregorio (Antonio Banderas) and Ingrid (Carla Gugino) put aside the biz for a worthy mission of their own: parenthood. ("Trading espionage for parenthood!") One's a somewhat snotty older-sister type, Carmen (Alexa Vega), and her wimpy, chicken little brother Juni (Daryl Sabara). But when their parents are captured by warped creator of a children's TV show, Fegan Floop (Alan Cuming), they must take over where their parents left off and save the world.

"Spy Kids" is like a mini-"Mission: Impossible" and is honestly more entertaining than the two cinematic versions put together. Action-extraordinaire director Robert Rodriguez (also the writer and editor here) knows how to mesh a fun romp for the kids and adults. His main message is blatantly spelled-out over and over, about how harmful secrets can be, but the other contention is for family unity, so it makes it all the more perfect and pertinent for this to be a family excursion --though it needn't be just to see it anyway.

The majority of the visual effects are quite impressive, especially noteworthy are the FoOglie "puppets." Interestingly enough, I found them to be quite frightening (along the lines of "Dark Crystal" as opposite to "Fraggle Rock"). All of the creations and gadgets are treat --like "Inspector Gadget," only these are much more fun to explore. "Spy Kids" was also pretty short, but I tended to have the feeling that something was missing, almost as if there were things edited out that were intended to be in it. That would not surprise me for two reasons, the first one being that Miramax, Dimension's "supervisor," is known for doing that. But it may have also been Rodriguez's choice to make it more conducive for the family. Had there been more violence and action, one may have been less likely to bring their kids, but to put a cap on it, by choice, is always a good sign too.

Obviously, as much fun as the adults are having, the children far surpass them --the cast, that is. Only Cuming seems as if he's "playing" as hard as Vega and Sabara. Cuming generally looks as though he is having fun (whether it be "Titus" or "Company Man" or even trash like "Josie and the Pussycats") his talent far exceeds what trash he may be in. Vega is the real talent here, nailing the role with dead-pan wit, strong comic timing, and an overall appealing presence. Sabara holds his own less so, but he too manages to "fun/play" his way through the movie.

"Spy Kids" is probably the most unexpected delight so far this year.

With hilarious cameos and bit parts by Teri Hatcher, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Tony Shaloub, Richard Linklater and Mike Judge.

Final Verdict: B+.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4708&reviewer=172
originally posted: 04/11/01 16:16:26
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

5/27/08 PAUL SHORTT NOT ONLY TERRIFICALLY ENTERTAINING, BUT HAS A GREAT MESSAGE, AS WELL 4 stars
1/10/07 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 3 stars
4/01/06 Rose Marie the director is crud, the movie is crap!the cast is all wrong and horibble! 1 stars
3/31/06 Anthony Feor A great kid flick 4 stars
3/26/06 Quigley whoa, people, explain the high ratings. it is crap. even antonio banderas didn't save it! 1 stars
9/14/05 Jonathon Holmes great fun 4 stars
8/06/05 Zack What was Robert Rodriguez thinking?!? 1 stars
6/14/05 Agent Sands An overlooked gem. 4 stars
12/10/04 Kristina Williams not a bad kids flick. I can sit through it without howling 4 stars
10/07/04 tatum Big loud fun 4 stars
8/31/04 aussieemmy hey this movie stars Cheech, so any one dissing this movie sucks! 5 stars
8/04/04 Katie This movie is great! The cast is awesome and the story is fun. 5 stars
5/31/04 Nobody Very fakey, somewhat boring, not very funny. 2 stars
12/03/03 Mr. Hat (previously Joe Zappa) It, as well as 2 & 3, are much better than the average kids' movie!! 5 stars
8/30/03 DEVON look, daryl is hot,smart, and turkish, you have a big mouth, you sorry jerk!!! 5 stars
7/26/03 Christian Harding Ideotic humor+some (as in 1 or 2) interesting scenes+weird characters=Spy Kids 3 stars
7/18/03 Chris Entertaing but not without flaws. Still it's style was unseen before. My family enjoyed it. 4 stars
6/20/03 jim movie sucks totall ass, unless ur a 6 year old, be ashamed of urself for liking this movie 1 stars
6/15/03 josh love to see an x-rated virsin 5 stars
6/10/03 Jareth Much better than the last 10 Bonds films 4 stars
2/21/03 scott SHUT UP ALEX THIS MOVIE ROCKS 5 stars
1/27/03 alex why do pussy like andrew patrick watch fuckin kid movies like spy kids, man up u littlegil 1 stars
12/17/02 Laura *Mrs. Floop* This movie is my favourite movie of all time. It is fantasticly made and Floop is gorgeous! 5 stars
8/25/02 Turkish blew total ass poo, jus rent the goonies instead, and andrew patricks a pussy 1 stars
8/17/02 Andrew Patrick Spy Kids Is Probably The Best Spy Movie Ever 5 stars
8/17/02 AJ Go in openminded and knowing its a kid's movie.. Overall it rocks 5 stars
8/16/02 scott great but spy kids 2 is better 4 stars
8/11/02 J I use to love it but after that lame "re-release" and better sequel I'm lowering my rating. 4 stars
7/28/02 spencer stupid shit that would never happen no plot 1 stars
6/11/02 qtpie Antonia Banderas was hot in those working glasses 5 stars
3/11/02 Emilia The bad guy is the weirdest..fits the whole movie 4 stars
1/20/02 Andrew Carden Uncomfortable and Uneven Kiddie Flick. 2 stars
12/26/01 Phil M. Afficianado Very cool. An eyefull of color and activity and imagination. Good spirited, too. Fun. 5 stars
10/16/01 Mr. Hat Some of the stuff is so cool, it makes me jealous because I don't have it. 5 stars
9/25/01 INCUBATOR Not funny, no nothing.....real piece of crap 1 stars
8/10/01 Jessel GREAT flick for the kids who will love it. Banderas is excellent, disliked only by skanks 4 stars
7/17/01 cheryl hated spy kids HATED antonio banderas - a greasy wetback with a lisp. 1 stars
6/22/01 sumair adfd 4 stars
5/20/01 Billy Blah at best 1 stars
5/10/01 Annie Tangalin It's alot funnier than any comedy show I've seen!!! 5 stars
4/21/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Funnier than 8-out-of-10 gross-out comedies you'll see this year...I'm serious... 4 stars
4/20/01 Stephen Booth Appeals on many levels, not to saccerine but sweet enough not to scare the kids. 4 stars
4/17/01 gloria fantastic movie for adults and kids. 5 stars
4/17/01 JustJeff I liked "Play It to the Bone" better - too bad Antonio did whup on the brats in this flick. 1 stars
4/16/01 Rampage perfect for the entire family, Banderas was great 5 stars
4/09/01 The Bomb 69 very entertaining, kids, parents, and grandparents will all love it 5 stars
4/02/01 Danny Del Rossi Not since 'The Princess Bride' have I seen a movie with such multi-generational appeal. 5 stars
4/02/01 orpy Excellent, better than Crouching Tiger! 5 stars
4/01/01 Kevin Neece This film was funny 5 stars
3/31/01 B Monday Most entertaining blast of the past several years! Alexa Vega was terrific in her 1st role 5 stars
3/27/01 film fan Fun! 5 stars
3/25/01 JF Great movie with awesome special effects and characters! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  30-Mar-2001 (PG)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  20-Sep-2001 (PG)




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